The British Masters 2017 gets underway today, with Northern Irish star Rory McIlroy having returned to fitness in time to challenge last year’s winner Alex Noren and 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia.

For the second consecutive year a former world number one will be hosting the tournament. Lee Westwood succeeds Luke Donald in the role and has promised an “incredible” British Masters field.

The former British golfer, who won this tournament back in 2007, has used his wealth of experience to create a course that is certain to provide a challenge for competitors of all levels.

Where is the British Masters venue?

Westwood selected the Close House golf resort in Newcastle upon Tyne as the British Masters 2017 course.

The tournament has never been held at the resort in the past, but has a lengthy history with the former golfer.

The competing golfers will make their way through the Colt course, a 200 acre stretch of greenery created by trusted golf course designer Scott Macpherson.

Where is the British Masters 2017 - Verdict

Westwood has worked with the resort to put his own spin on the course in the lead up to the British Masters. Bunkers and tees have been added to mix it up ahead of the tournament.

According to the three time European Golfer of the Year, he has picked a course that will bring something new to the British Masters:

“Close House is not the longest golf course, but it’s tricky in places, quite tight and very undulating. The wind can come in to play a lot, as you would expect in the North East. There’s a little bit of water on the golf course as well, which keeps it interesting.”

When is the British Masters 2017?

This year’s tournament is already underway.

The golfers first took to the course this morning. Robert Coles, Bradley Dredge and Marcel Siem teed off first at 7:30am London time. Meanwhile, Johan Carlsson, Lasse Jensen and Paul Waring were kicking off the tournament at hole 10.

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The first round came to an end today at 13:40pm. The tournament will recommencing with the second round tomorrow.

Round three will be played on Saturday. The tournament will then come to an end on Sunday, 1 October.

Who could win the British Masters 2017?

According to odds comparison site Oddschecker, Rory McIlroy is the bookmakers’ favourite to claim victory at Close House. However, Sergio Garcia isn’t too far behind.

Alex Noren, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Paul Dunne make up the top five contenders.

How to watch the British Masters 2017

You can watch the British Masters 2017 live on television. However, you will have to be a Sky Sports subscriber in order to enjoy the action.

Sky Sports will be showing the action regularly throughout the tournament. Coverage is scheduled between 9:30am to 5:30pm on Thursday and Friday, 11:30am to 5pm on Saturday and 10:30am to 4:30pm on Sunday.