David Howell, Europe’s current Number One on the Order of Merit, and his ISM stablemate, fellow Englishman Lee Westwood, have announced that they will make their first appearance of 2006 in the UK in The Quinn Direct British Masters at The De Vere Belfry from May 11-14.
Howell’s career enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2005 when, in consecutive weeks, he finished runner-up to Dane Thomas Björn in the British Masters and to Welshman Stephen Dodd in the Nissan Irish Open.
Buoyed by those close calls, Howell went on to capture the BMW International Open - his first European Tour title in six years – in Munich in August before claiming the biggest success of his career in the first official event of the 2006 season, the HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai.
The Swindon born player went head to head with Tiger Woods on the final day and never faltered on his way to winning the title which has confirmed his current ranking at the top of the Order of Merit with €960,518.
Howell said; “Over the past year I’ve grown as a player so I’m really confident about competing in The Quinn Direct British Masters. In 2005 I nearly clinched the title so hopefully 2006 will be my year.”
Also lining up at The £1.8 million Quinn Direct British Masters at The De Vere Belfry will be Westwood, Worksop’s most famous resident and a Ryder Cup winner at the Brabazon Course. Westwood currently has 16 victories on The European Tour International Schedule to his name and was European Number One in 2000. Last weekend he finished fifth in the Bay Hill Invitational in Florida.
Westwood said; “I’m really excited that the tournament has returned to The De Vere Belfry, as it’s such a great course and holds many good memories for me.”
Other past and present Ryder Cup stars already confirmed to take part in the event include defending champion Björn, Darren Clarke – who was third at Bay Hill on Sunday - and Paul McGinley of Ireland, who holed the winning putt in The 2002 Ryder Cup at The De Vere Belfry.
The event will take place from May 11-14, including a Pro-Am day on May 10, and tickets can be booked by calling 01782 741956 or visiting www.quinndirectbritishmasters.com. Those wishing to pre-book season tickets will receive a free event branded cap, and day tickets can be pre-booked with an amazing 25% discount. To purchase event corporate hospitality packages at The Quinn Direct British Masters please call 01565 832121. Pre book day tickets at 25% discount (Season and Concession prices available) on: 01782 741 956 or www.quinndirectbritishmasters.com