GOLFERS were joined by famous faces at Close House in their bid to qualify for this year’s British Masters.

Due to take place at the par 71 Heddon-on-the-Wall golf course from July 22-25, the British Masters is the first of six European Tour events in its UK Swing programme.

Amateur golfers hoping to qualify for the tournament rubbed shoulders with former Newcastle captain Alan Shearer, former Sunderland and Middlesbrough player Lee Cattermole and Sam Westwood, son of club professional and former world number one Lee Westwood, on Monday.

Shearer earned the bragging rights against his former Sunderland counterpart after he carded a seven-over-par score of 78 to Cattermole’s 11-over-par 82. 

The winner of the 18-hole-shoot-out was guaranteed a spot in the Masters event and it was Glaswegian Calum Fyfe who carded the best score of the day to earn a place in the European Tour competition. 

The 23-year-old’s impressive four-under-par 67, in windy conditions, was boosted by consecutive birdies on the final two holes to win by two shots. 
The UK’s first one armed golf assistant professional, Darren Grey, said he enjoyed the qualifying experience.

Darren, from Darlington, hopes to use his golfing experiences to promote disabled golf throughout the European Tour and open an inclusive golf academy in the North-East. 
Head professional at Hexham Golf Club, Andy Paisley, carded a two over par 73 score.

Posting on Twitter, he said: “Well done Close House Golf for arranging a great day in difficult circumstances.

“Not quite there today for me, but +2 wasn’t too bad!”

Close House, at Heddon-on-the-Wall, was chosen to host the event last year after a successful tournament at the course in 2017, which attracted nearly 70,000 fans.

But the coronavirus pandemic has meant the European Tour has enforced several restrictions to ensure the safe return of professional golf. 

The event will be played behind closed doors, but broadcast by Sky Sports. 

Lee Westwood is due to host the event.