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March 04, 2015Poulter, Westwood, Donald, Rose to host British Masters (Reuters)

Lee Westwood of England tees off on the tenth hole during the final round of the Dubai Desert Classic February 1, 2015. REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad

By Tony Jimenez LONDON (Reuters) - Ian Poulter, Lee Westwood, Luke Donald and Justin Rose are to take turns in hosting the British Masters, an event that will return to the European Tour calendar this season for the first time in seven years. The leading British quartet will help select the venue each season for the next four years and Poulter has kicked things off by opting to play the three million pounds ($4.58 million) competition at his local course at Woburn from Oct. 8-11. "I am proud and delighted to be bringing the tournament to Woburn which is obviously a place that means a great deal to me," the Englishman said in statement on Wednesday. "We have all been keen to get more tournaments on British soil and in England in particular." It will be the 17th time that Woburn has hosted the tournament and the first since 2002 when Poulter was narrowly beaten to the title by his close friend Rose.


March 04, 2015British Open host Royal St. George's to allow female members (The Associated Press)

FILE - This is a Sunday, July 17, 2011 file photo of Northern Ireland's Darren Clarke as he holds up the Claret Jug trophy on the 18th green as he celebrates winning the British Open Golf Championship at Royal St George's golf course Sandwich, England. One of the three clubs on the British Open rota with a male-only membership policy has voted to allow female members for the first time. Royal St. George's, which last hosted golf's oldest major in 2011, said on Wednesday March 4, 2015 more than 81 percent of the club's full members took part in a ballot, and 90 percent voted in favor of women being eligible for membership. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

One of the three clubs used for the British Open with a male-only membership policy has voted to allow female members for the first time. Royal St. George's, which last hosted golf's oldest major in 2011, said on Wednesday more than 81 percent of the club's full members took part in a ballot, and 90 percent voted in favor of women being eligible for membership. ''It is extremely good news going forward,'' Tim Checketts, club secretary of Royal St. George's, told The Associated Press. Royal Troon and Muirfield are the other host clubs of the British Open to have male-only memberships.


March 04, 2015British Masters returns, top English players rotate as host (The Associated Press)

Ian Poulter, of England, walks after he parred at the 18th hole as he ends the third round of the Honda Classic golf tournament, Sunday, March 1, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) -- Four of England's top golfers will take turns hosting the British Masters when the event returns to the European Tour schedule this year.


March 04, 2015Open hosts Royal St. George's to allow women members (Reuters)

Royal St George's, one of three male-only clubs on the British Open rota, has voted to allow women members for the first time, British media reported on Wednesday. "The Royal St George's Golf Club is pleased to announce that, following an extraordinary general meeting held on 14th February 2015 and a subsequent ballot of the full members of the Club, a resolution to alter the Club's rules to make ladies eligible for membership has been duly passed," the club said in a statement. It added a "decisive 90 percent" voted in favor of women being eligible for membership. Royal St George's, founded in 1887 and located in the south-east England county of Kent, last hosted the British Open in 2011 when it was won by European Ryder Cup captain Darren Clarke.

March 04, 2015Singapore's rising mercury a challenge for Ko's hot streak (Reuters)

Aug 21, 2014; London, Ontario, CAN; LPGA golfer and two time defending champion Lydia Ko (NZL) tees off on the first tee during the first round of the Canadian Pacific Women's Open golf tournament at London Hunt and Country Club. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

By Patrick Johnston SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's steamy temperatures will be no less a challenge than the star-studded field at the HSBC Women's Champions for teenaged world number one Lydia Ko's bid for her third successive title. "At that time, I had glasses and the moment I opened the door and went out my glasses just fogged up straightaway," Ko told reporters on Wednesday. The Seoul-born Ko will look to make it three consecutive wins when she returns to Singapore for the LPGA tournament, which starts on Thursday and boasts a field that includes 19 of the top-20 women's golfers in the world.


March 03, 2015Austin to host Match Play Championship from 2016-19 (Reuters)

(Reuters) - The elite WGC-Match Play Championship will be staged in Austin, Texas, from 2016 to 2019 as part of a four-year deal with its new title sponsor, the International Federation of PGA Tours announced on Tuesday. Texas-based PC maker Dell, which has major sports sponsorship experience with Formula 1 and America's Cup, will take over as the event's title sponsor next year when the event will be renamed the WGC-Dell Match Play. "We're confident that Dell will find the World Golf Championships to be an extremely effective and valuable global marketing and business-to-business platform," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said in a statement. Austin, the 11th-most populous city in the United States, last hosted a sanctioned PGA Tour event from 2003-2009 on the over-50s Champions Tour.

March 03, 2015Next job for Ryder Cup task force? Repair damage to tour (The Associated Press)

Now that players on the task force have solved their Ryder Cup problems, the next job is to repair damage to their own tour. One week ago, Davis Love III was introduced as the next U.S. captain for the 2016 matches at Hazeltine. Requiring two of the assistant captains to already have been Ryder Cup captains can't hurt. Where the task force failed was in the qualifying process.

March 03, 2015A big win and now a busy schedule for Padraig Harrington (The Associated Press)

Padraig Harrington poses for photographers after winning the Honda Classic golf tournament, Monday, March 2, 2015, in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Harrington defeated Daniel Berger in a two hole playoff. (AP Photo/Luis M. Alvarez)

Padraig Harrington's game slipped so badly last year that he failed to keep full status on the PGA Tour for the first time. He wrote letters to tournaments asking for a sponsor's exemption and received one from every tournament but the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. The Honda Classic was the fifth straight tournament Harrington played, and he wound up winning in a playoff for his first PGA Tour victory since the 2008 PGA Championship.