European Tour golf returns to the UK this week for the first time since October with the Betfred British Masters hosted by Danny Willett at The Belfry.
Willett, who famously won the 2016 US Masters at Augusta National, will follow in the footsteps of previous hosts such as Lee Westwood, Tommy Fleetwood and Justin Rose this week.
But a change of location sees the tournament head back to the iconic Sutton Coldfield venue for the first time in 13 years.
The action gets underway on Wednesday to allow those who have qualified for next week’s USPGA Championship an extra day to prepare for the second major of the season, but with vital Ryder Cup points on offer this week and the start of a new three-week stretch of US Open qualifying, there’s plenty up for grabs in Warwickshire.
Speaking to sponsors Betfred, Willett said, “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while.
“It’s at a course that’s relatively close to where I grew up and that has such great memories for European golf.
“There are certain tournaments that year-on-year you would like to win and this is definitely one where your name would be very welcomed on that trophy.”
The Brabazon course at The Belfry will host this year’s event and Willett is not anticipating scores to be as low as we’ve seen in recent weeks during the Canary Islands swing.
Willett said, “I’ve spoken to the Tournament Director Mike Stewart regularly over the last few weeks and we want to try and get the course to play as difficult as it can.
“It’s a sneaky golf course, it’s not overly long, but hitting the fairways around here is key.
“It’d be nice to see a winning score around 14 to 16 under par and really show that this place is a nice test.”
Willet is no stranger to home success, having won the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth in 2019 and the 33-year-old is hopeful he’ll be able to compete this week.
Willett said, “We’ve not quite started firing on all cylinders yet but the work has been good, the body is in good shape, probably the best it has been for a long time.
“I’m trying to keep my expectations low but I know what my abilities are at the minute in practice so I’m coming in nicely, quietly, in a good place”
Along with trying to win for the eighth time on the European Tour, Willett is also hoping to raise awareness for Prostate Cancer UK, his chosen charity for the event.
Sponsors Betfred have pledged to donate £1,000 for every birdie the Yorkshireman makes this week and £2,000 for every eagle. There will also be a £50,000 donation should anyone make a hole-in-one on the 14th hole.
Willet said, “Us as men all like to think we don’t need any help but actually it’s important we take care of ourselves and prostate cancer affects one in every eight men during their lifetime.
“Betfred have been fantastic with their generosity this week and hopefully we can raise a lot of money and have a little treble – a lot of birdies, a lot of eagles and an ace on 14 would be delightful!”