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US Masters: A North East look

Its Masters’ week!

In celebration of the arrival of the biggest week in golf, and the first men’s major of 2023, we take a look at some of the region’s most prolific figures in the history Augusta National’s most converted event.

Lee Westwood

Okay. He may have been born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, but this European Tour legend has a strong affinity to our region, residing out of Newcastle and holding a strong attachment to Close House after opening the course in 2011.

The former world number one has made 20 appearances at Augusta National, most notably finishing runner up twice in 2016 and 2010, losing out by three strokes on both occasions. The LIV Golf player holds a formidable record at The Masters, missing only a green jacket, which could have been so different in 1999 when he led walking down the 10th fairway on the final day, only to finish in a tie for sixth.

With being outside the top 50 players in the world, the 49-year-old won’t be able to right the wrongs of yesteryear. Instead, viewing from home and gearing up for the next LIV Golf event in Adelaide.

Final round of the 1999 Masters, with Westwood in contention.

David Curry

The man from Prudhoe has two Masters’ appearances to his name in 1987 and 1988. Unfortunately, he missed the cut on both occasion, shooting two rounds of 78 to miss the cut by five strokes on his first venture down Magnolia Lane. After sitting in 16th after the first round a year later, he slipped back to miss the cut with a second round of 80.

Speaking to the Northern Golfer, David Curry said: “Getting to play in The Masters as an amateur from Northumberland was an amazing experience.

In those days, we didn’t have funding and I had to take a week off work. I begged, borrowed and stole to make it across.”

Graeme Storm

Graeme Storm, born in Hartlepool, qualified for the Masters as an amateur in 2000 after winning The Amateur Championship a year earlier at Royal County Down. The Hartlepudlian’s rounds of 83 and 76 meant he didn’t stick around for the weekend.

Although the week was certainly a special one, as he had his, Jane Storm, on his bag sharing the unique experience Augusta offers. Storm then turned after his Masters experience and has gone on to win 4 times, including a sudden death playoff victory over then world no2 Rory McIlroy to win the SA Open in January 2017.

Michael Burrow

Like the golfers, The Masters is a special event for caddies. Michael Burrow, from Newcastle, has experienced the magic of The Masters on three separate occasions as a caddy. Now caddying for fellow Englishman Danny Willett, Burrow is set to make his fourth Masters appearance.

He first stepped foot inside Augusta National caddying for then British Amateur champion Garrick Porteous in 2014, before teaming up with now 27-year-old Haotong Li in 2018 and 2019, where the pair finished in a T32 and T43.

“Growing up watching The Masters on TV, Augusta National was this magical place which didn’t really exist. I was 10 years old when Tiger Woods won in 1997 and I remember thinking I’d never be able to visit the golf course like I could the Open Championship venues,” Burrow told the Northern Golfer.