Close House, a premier golf destination in the North-East of England with a strong affiliation to one of the country’s greatest golfers Lee Westwood, hosted The International Series England 2023 and ensured another world-class venue featured on The International Series schedule.
The US$2 million tournament was played from August 17-20 and represented the fifth stop on The International Series in 2023.
The International Series England made its debut in 2022, in the same region, and was a landmark event for the International Series and Asian Tour as it marked the first time the Tour had staged an event in the United Kingdom.
Before the event, Close House Managing Director, Jonathan Lupton, was excited about the event and its impact on golf in the North East: “Welcoming The International Series back to Northumberland for a second consecutive year is an exciting development.
“Having had the pleasure to visit the International Series Oman in February, it was fantastic to see the growth of the Series over the last year and we’re looking forward to working closely with the Asian Tour to create a memorable event in England.”
The Scott Macpherson-designed Lee Westwood Colt Course was chosen for the tournament. The highly rated par-71 layout measures just under 7,000 yards, and incorporates historical features throughout, including ha-ha walls and ancient woodland. It is one of two courses at Close House, with the other being the Lee Westwood Filly course.
“I am sure that the players will relish the challenge of the Lee Westwood Colt Course along with enjoying a very warm welcome from the members and guests,” said Close House owner, Sir Graham Wylie prior to the event.
“The people of the North-East are extremely passionate about sport and to host another world class event in the region is a huge honour.”
The International Series was launched in 2022 through a historic investment by LIV Golf that created a premier level of events to develop the next generation of stars and offer unprecedented pathways to top competition in the LIV Golf League. The ground-breaking initiative sits with the Asian Tour schedule and saw seven International Series events staged in 2022 across seven countries in three continents.
During the build up to the event, Cho Minn Thant, Commissioner & CEO, Asian Tour stated that “The Asian Tour is excited to be returning to Newcastle for the International Series England. We enjoyed a very successful event there last June, which marked the Tour’s first trip to the United Kingdom,”
“To be able to stage the tournament this year at Close House, a fantastic venue that has such strong ties with Lee Westwood – a nine-time winner on the Asian Tour – adds an exciting new dimension to the tournament and provides another great opportunity for our membership.”
“We thank Close House for making this possible and look forward to another trip to the North of England, which, as we learned in 2022, is an incredible region for golf.”
Andy Ogletree stamped his authority once again on the Asian Tour by claiming the International Series England crown after a stunning seven-stroke victory – with a runaway 16-under tournament total.
The American was unstoppable, shooting a final-round seven-under 64 – tying for the lowest round of the week – to finish ahead of second-placed Ian Poulter from England, who closed with the same score.
Indian Anirban Lahiri also excelled, carding a 68, to take sole possession of third, one back from Poulter. Tied for fourth at 7 under were Jason Kokrak, David Puig, Abraham Ancer and Matt Jones.
The week of the International Series England saw some of the best players golf has to offer congregate at Close House to produce a fantastic spectacle of golfing excellence. The likes of Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Jason Kokrak, Airban Lahiri, Abraham Ancer, Graeme McDowell, Pat Perez and of course Andy Ogletree were all in attendance.