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Strike While The Irons Are Hot

We should have more tournaments in Britain

Posted Jun 10, 2011 by Chris White

Luke Donald is currently world number one

With British players currently dominating the world rankings, why are we unable to get more of our top players to compete in competitions over here? Quite simply, because there aren’t enough tournaments to make it worthwhile.

There is a Welsh Open, which took place at Celtic Manor last week and attracted a large crowd, but of our top players, only McDowell took part, despite Casey and Poulter to name two taking part on the same course the day before at the PowerPlay: Ignition event.

We had 90,000 through the gates at the PGA Championship at Wentworth at the end of last month to see Luke Donald become world number one, we need more like that.

At a time when the top two players in the world are from England there is no English Open, while the British Masters and European Open are no more. Only the PGA Championship, the Scottish Open and, of course, the Open will attract the Tour's biggest names to Britain in 2011.

Besides the Open Championship, no other British events have enough prize money or prestige to get our top players to come home and play. This isn’t good for the future of the sport over here. Yes, you could say crowds of 90,000 at Wentworth prove my statement to be incorrect, but with three tournaments attracting big numbers, why not add a few more.

Money is a real issue around the world at the moment we all know that. But sponsors will come out of the woodwork to back big tournaments with big name players taking part.

We need to strike while the irons are hot (sorry!), before we lose this golden generation of players like Donald, Poulter, McDowell, Westwood and McIlroy. It’s taken so long to get our players at the top of the rankings, and young players are only going to stay involved by watching them at golf courses near them, in their own country or while they’re winning.

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