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Bailey Gill

WESTWOOD GIFTS NEXT WORKSOP WONDER MASTERS START

BAILY GILL is all set for his second taste of European Tour action at this week’s Betfred British Masters, having accepted an invitation from tournament Host Lee Westwood. The impressive left-hander turned professional late last year and won the MENA Tour’s Ghala Open in Oman in February to earn a spot in the European Tour’s Oman Open a few weeks later, and he’s keen to make the most of his second opportunity at Close House.

“Lee is a legend of the game and I would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to him for the invite,” said Gill. “This is an unbelievable opportunity for me, but it also underlines the class of the man. He’s always giving back and supporting our home town, whether it’s sponsoring the shirts at Worksop Town Football Club or donating to the flood appeal.”
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“Lee’s consistency at the very top level of the game is an inspiration to us all. I’ve still got the ball he signed for me after playing in the Lee Westwood Junior Open at Worksop Golf Club as a lad. I went up to watch Lee and Mark Foster at the British Masters at Close House three years ago. It’s a brilliant course and there was a great atmosphere at the event.

“Sir Graham Wylie and his team deserve huge credit for their work in making Close House a Championship venue. It’s a shame that this year’s tournament has to be played behind closed doors but safeguarding public health is what matters most.”

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Gill has been a member at Lindrick Golf Club on the outskirts of Worksop for almost ten years and both Foster and Westwood retain membership there, along with European Tour stars Danny Willett and Matt Fitzpatrick.

After representing England as an amateur, Gill is aiming to follow in the footsteps of those four players and 25-time European Tour winner Westwood by competing at the highest level of the game in Europe.

He proved he can continue his momentum, as his victory in Oman came courtesy of a fast-finish with five birdies over the final six holes – including 17 and 18 – to deny David Langley and win by just one shot.

His victory earned him a European Tour debut in the Oman Open at Al Mouj Golf, in Muscat, where he played two rounds alongside European Tour winner Graeme Storm and American Sean Crocker, missing the cut by three shots after rounds of 77 and 70.

Gill is now looking forward to getting his second taste of top-level action at Close House, despite it being behind closed doors. “I made my European Tour debut in Oman just before the Covid-19 pandemic struck and I’m delighted that my next opportunity has come so soon at such a big tournament,” said Gill. “I’m determined to repay Lee’s faith in me and really kick-start my career.”

Westwood, who is tournament Host and Ambassador at Close House for the second time in his career, is pleased to afford Gill the opportunity. “The British Masters has a great tradition of helping to launch the careers of some promising young players over the years and I hope that Bailey fully enjoys his experience at Close House,” said the ten-times Ryder Cup player.

“Obviously, it will be a little different to normal without having the fans here, but perhaps that can benefit a player in just his second start. Whatever happens, it will be a chance for Bailey to test himself against a strong European Tour field.

“He’s a Worksop lad, so I’ve kept an eye on his progress and it was great to see him get his first victory on the MENA Tour earlier this year. The area has produced quite a few Tour players over the last couple of decades and, hopefully, Bailey can be the next to make it out here.”
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“He’s a Worksop lad, so I’ve kept an eye on his progress and it was great to see him get his first victory on the MENA Tour earlier this year. The area has produced quite a few Tour players over the last couple of decades and, hopefully, Bailey can be the next to make it out here.”