Golf Expert & Columnist
Tommy Fleetwood ready to contend at British Masters, says Andrew Coltart
Last Updated: 09/05/19 7:17am
Andrew Coltart looks ahead to Tommy Fleetwood hosting the British Masters and casts his eye over a couple of potential players to impress at Hillside.
This is such an incredible event, with an awful lot of history and a number of major champions among the impressive list of former winners. It's so prestigious and means a tremendous amount to all those teeing it up this week.
Fleetwood has taken his duties in his stride as tournament host and did lots of work before the event started, but has now got most of that out of the way so he can focus on trying to win this wonderful championship.
He is incredibly passionate, loves this part of the world and clearly has plenty of fans up in the North West, so I do fully expect him to be a contender at Hillside this week.
There is always the risk of putting too much pressure on yourself by wanting to perform in front of your home fans, as Tommy will know how much him bringing the event to Southport will mean to all the local people and businesses.
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Sometimes that pressure can interfere with the golf a little bit and who knows whether he will put that kind of pressure on himself, but Fleetwood has already played some great golf this year.
Eddie Pepperell returns as defending champion and is another who can contend, although it's always difficult to come back and win a tournament again.
I was fortunate enough to have a game of golf with him a couple of weeks ago at his home club at Frilford Heath and he's in good form. The only concern for him is that he gets a slight back issue from time to time and in these damp, wet and windy conditions, that might just tighten him up a little bit.
Hillside is a cracking course where you're up against the elements, so will suit those who you could consider as specialists of links golf. That could play into the hands of someone like Stephen Gallacher, who came back into the fray recently by winning in India and grew up in Scotland playing on links.
Another player who could go well this week is Joost Luiten, who is very handy around links, is a regular winner on the European Tour and has made another consistent start to the season.
Watch the British Masters throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 10.30am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.