Welcome from Betfred

IT’S just over 12 months since I handed over the Betfred British Masters trophy to Marcus Kinhult at Hillside Golf Club, and little did we know then what awaited us for this year’s tournament!

Therefore, firstly I would like to say a huge thank you to all of the people who have made this year’s event possible, as there were certainly times in recent months when I thought that this prestigious tournament would have to be cancelled.

So, thank you to the European Tour team for adopting such a sensible approach to the return of competitive golf and to Sir Graham Wylie and his team at Close House, who have the course in immaculate condition. Despite the many challenges, they have done a magnificent job.

I had been very much looking forward to heading up to Newcastle, a city very special to our Betfred success story as it was my first real venture outside Manchester and the surrounding areas in opening up a group of (then, Done Bookmaker’s) shops and it proved a great initiative. We were made very welcome by the Geordie’s who are very passionate about their sport, and it remains very much a core area in our retail estate.

I am delighted to have Lee Westwood as our host for this year’s Masters. Lee has a great affinity with both Sir Graham and Close House and is very much a lover of all sport in general. I have no doubt that Lee will prove a worthy successor to Tommy Fleetwood who did such a fantastic job at Hillside last year. Even without a crowd I am sure that Lee will be doing his very best to put a smile on the faces of golf fans everywhere. Betfred are proud to be supporting the Graham Wylie Foundation this year and we’ll be donating £1,000 for every birdie and £2,000 for any eagle that Lee hits during the four days of the Masters.

As ever, a big thank you to Sky Sports, not only for their fantastic coverage of Golf in general but for their flexibility in ensuring that this tournament continues to receive the full coverage at a time when it is needed more than ever.

It has been an unprecedented few months and many have lost loved ones and suffered incredibly during this pandemic. The fantastic efforts of the NHS and all the key workers should never be forgotten. Let’s hope the 2020 Betfred British Masters marks the beginning of a return to normality in sport and to life in general.

Be lucky and enjoy the 2020 Betfred British Masters.