Sun, sand, and sport.

It was one of those calls we all love to get, “Hi Matty do you want to come to the British Masters this Thursday at Close House?”

Well, it was a no-brainer – I was scheduled to be in the office all day – Hell yes let’s go!

I am an ex/social golfer – I love it, it loves me less so. I have enjoyed a certain amount of golf gambling success over the years albeit, but I am no Steve Palmer.

I had already singled out Graham Storm as my pick. Local (ish) lad with good current form – a solid each-way prospect.

I was excited.

I wasn’t to be disappointed.

I live local to the course, so had watched fascinated over the previous 4 weeks as the infrastructure was put in place – temporary bridges, tented villages, grandstands etc.

As I pulled into the car park I was struck by the number of cars – this was the real deal. The North-East sporting public had turned out.

As I walked through the trade stands I was again struck by the enthusiasm and the atmosphere. Everyone was loving it!

I met my compadres at the practice range (I had to ask for directions…!) – only for Sergio Garcia to roll past in a buggy, shortly followed by Miguel Angel Jiménez, true to form engulfed by a cloud of cigar smoke.

We followed some of the major protagonists - Westwood, Mcllroy, McDowell, Kaymer, Willett, Fitzpatrick, Coetzee, Donaldson – it was a who’s who of the European golfing elite.

My man got off to a good start – and I cheered suitably loud for him.

It was a great day - capped off by the great Northumbrian weather.

I wasn’t alone in loving the occasion – the record crowds for the event speak for themselves.

I hope that top-level Golf remains a constant in the North East – and with Lee Westwood acting in an ambassadorial role for Close House GC I trust that it will.

Oh, did I mention Graham Storm tied for 4th – happy days!

Matthew Bromham