Record number of English Players at Augusta

Danny Willett

The eyes of the golfing world will be on Augusta this week as the first Major of the season unfolds across the famous course that hosts the US Masters.

English interest in the tournament will be at an all-time high with 11 players competing for the legendary Green Jacket that was hoisted onto the shoulders of Yorkshireman Danny Willett 12 months ago.

That figure is a source of great pride for England Golf, the national governing body of the amateur game that seeks to both encourage more people to take up the sport and to develop the elite players of the future.

Players like Tommy Fleetwood, Matt Fitzpatrick, Chris Wood and defending champion Willett himself have all benefitted from the high-class coaching and worldwide experience gained as an amateur player under the umbrella of England Golf.

England Golf has put in place a coaching programme and competition schedule, both at home and abroad, that provides an ideal springboard for any players looking to go on and perform at the highest level as a professional.

As Nigel Edwards, England Golf’s Performance Director, explains: “We have a really focussed programme, especially when they get to national level.

“We send players all over the world and use our funds diligently. But that is just the end product of what we do.

“From the bottom up we try and create something that is both inspirational and aspirational.”

Leading the English charge in America are Willett and England Golf ambassador and Olympic gold medal winner Justin Rose, with the total of 11 players being the biggest non-American born representation since 1966 when 10 England players contested the Masters.

Paul Casey, Ross Fisher, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Andy Sullivan, Lee Westwood and Chris Wood will all line up at Augusta this week with a total of 49 Masters appearances between them.

And they will be joined by the latest player to epitomise the work of England Golf in amateur Scott Gregory of Portsmouth, who qualified for his Masters debut by virtue of his victory in the Amateur Championship.