IT attracted nearly 70,000 fans in 2017, and the prestigious Betfred British Masters golf event is heading back to Tynedale.

It was announced on Sunday that the event, which attracts some of the world's best golfers, will return to Close House, in Hedd-on-the-Wall, next summer with former world number one golfer Lee Westwood to become the first player to host the European Tour tournament twice.

Following the success of this year’s event at Hillside Golf Club in Southport, where Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood took on the hosting duties, Close House attached touring professional Westwood will welcome the elite sport stars between July 30 to August 2 in 2020.

The 2017 event saw Ireland’s Paul Dunne produce a spectacular finish, chipping in on the last hole to finish three shots clear of four-time Major champion Rory McIlroy. 

Westwood said: “I’m delighted to announce that the Betfred British Masters is once again going to be at Close House.

“Hopefully, we will get another great field and I am sure it will be a great spectacle like it was a couple of years ago. The crowds in the North-East love their sport and their big events, and Close House will be at its best again. 

“I’m really looking forward to taking on the hosting role again too. Last time we did some interesting things - on the pitch at St James Park and hitting balls by the Tyne Bridge – so it will be fun to do it a second time.”

Graham Wylie, the owner of Close House, said: “It’s a big honour to bring the British Masters back to Close House next year. People in Newcastle and the North-East region love sport and we had some great crowds in 2017, a great TV audience and some great engagement on social media, so I’m sure we will get the same again. 

“We don’t get too many big sporting events in Newcastle, but when we do, we really support them. With 15 months to promote it, I’m sure we will get a lot of people there and it will be a lot of fun, as it always is in Newcastle. Close House is a great spectator course and the fans loved getting so close to some of the world’s best players.”