Justin Rose named to host 2018 British Masters at Walton Heath
By Sky Sports Golf
Last Updated: 07/12/17 12:38pm
Justin Rose has been announced as the tournament host for the 2018 British Masters supported by Sky Sports, with the Olympic champion choosing Walton Heath as the host venue.
To celebrate the announcement, the European Tour and Sky Sports announced that 10,000 free tickets would be available for "Sky Sports Thursday" for the opening round, and all 10,000 were allocated to eager spectators in less than an hour and a half.
"I'm very excited to be hosting the British Masters supported by Sky Sports at Walton Heath in 2018," said Rose. "Walton Heath is a golf course I really, really enjoy playing, in fact, I love it.
"It has got teeth but it is traditional and hopefully the players will really enjoy it. Hopefully we will assemble a strong field, get some good weather and we can host an amazing tournament next October."
Rose is a former British Masters champion and won the title in 2002 when he held off former tournament host Ian Poulter in a memorable battle at Woburn.
The Race to Dubai runner-up follows Poulter, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood as tournament host, with the event helping to attract new audiences since returning to the European Tour in 2015 after a seven-year absence.
"It's a huge honour to host the British Masters and to follow in the footsteps of three friends of mine, Ian, Luke and Lee," Rose added. "I've known for a while that I was next in line to host in 2018, so I've been watching carefully to see how the boys have done the hosting role.
"They've all done a great job and put their own stamp on it, and their own personality on it. They've all been very successful and the crowds have been great.
"This tournament has really created its own identity on the European Tour. The guys have left a pretty good blueprint for me, and hopefully I can put some of my own touches here and there and continue that success."
Rose has had a stellar season with a runner-up finish at the Masters and back-to-back victories in the autumn, winning the WGC-HSBC Champions and the Turkish Airlines Open.
Keith Pelley, European Tour chief executive, said: "The British Masters has been hugely successful in attracting new audiences to golf over the past three years thanks largely to the support of Sky Sports and the commitment Ian Poulter, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood brought to the role of tournament host.
"We are very fortunate to have another incredible host for 2018 in Justin Rose who I am certain will build on the strong foundations already in place.
"Justin is a major champion, a former European No 1, a Ryder Cup player and the Olympic champion, so his CV speaks for itself, but he is also a wonderful ambassador for our game and we look forward to working with him across the next 12 months."