Tommy Fleetwood will host the British Masters at a proposed new date of May, as part of a number of HUGE CHANGES to the European Tour's global schedule in 2019.
Fleetwood, who is looking to host the tournament in his home town during the second week of May, will follow in the footsteps of compatriots Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose as British Masters host.
The news will come as a surprise to many, particularly given Rose's recent comments about the British Masters potentially being removed from the schedule altogether.
"I can’t wait to host the British Masters in my home town," said Fleetwood.
"It will be such an honour and I’m so grateful to have been asked. I’m extremely proud to follow the great ambassadors of our game who have hosted this tournament. I am very confident that Southport will make everyone welcome and the north west of England, and its love of golf, will embrace this opportunity and show support to us all."
It will mark the European Tour’s first visit to Hillside since 1982 when Tony Jacklin won the Sun Alliance PGA Championship.
That's just one of a number of huge surprises to the 2019 European Tour schedule, which sees the Tour's flagship event of the year - the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth - moving to a new September date.
Other changes include the elevation of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship to a Rolex Series event.
It takes its place alongside the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open, the BMW PGA Championship, the Italian Open, the Turkish Airlines Open, the Nedbank Golf Challenge hosted by Gary Player and the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai, in the line-up for the third year of the Rolex Series, which again combines the leading fields with innovative coverage.
The European Tour's 12 month Race to Dubai schedule runs from November 2018 to November 2019, with 48 tournaments in 31 countries spanning five continents – Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and North America.
Other notable date changes include the Italian Open and Open de France both moving from the summer to October, and the Andalucia Valderrama Masters reverting back the other way to June.
GolfSixes will be back for more in 2019, too, but despite two successful additions at Centurion Club in England, the third staging will be held in Portugal. The Shot Clock Challenge will also return in August, as too the Belgian Knockout in May.