England’s Lee Westwood will become the first player to host the Betfred British Masters on two occasions when the event returns to Close House this week (Westwood 9/1 Outright).

The Betfred British Masters will mark the start of the European Tour’s new six-event UK swing, and it promises to be a weekend to remember in the North East.

Westwood was host the last time the Betfred British Masters was played at Close House in 2017, and he will lead the field as he looks for his second victory in the event.

Scotland’s Marc Warren (33/1) will fancy his chances after winning the Austrian Open recently, while Thomas Detry (14/1) and Eddie Pepperell (25/1) are Westwood’s closest rivals in terms of the betting.

This week’s Betfred British Masters marks the full resumption of the European Tour’s 2020 campaign after dual-ranking events in Austria.

Westwood had enjoyed a strong start to the season before the break, and he says he cannot wait to host the event once again.

He told the European Tour website: “I’m delighted to be hosting again.

“No crowds, a little less media and things like that, which will allow me to focus more time on trying to win the golf tournament this time around.

“It’s great that the Betfred British Masters is the first event to kick off the UK Swing. Betfred have been an incredible sponsor, they have stuck with us all through it, and they are very excited to be involved again this year.

“I have played a lot of golf of late, and certainly no one will have played the golf course as much as I have.”

Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult (28/1) is the defending champion of the tournament, having won it in 2019 at Hillside Golf Club.

He finished one shot ahead of Pepperrell, while Miguel Angel Jimenez (60/1) will look to celebrate a landmark in style.

The Spaniard will make his 706th European Tour appearance, which will equal Sam Torrance’s all-time record.

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