The English Open, currently the Cazoo Classic, was introduced in 1988 with the aim of being a genuine national open for England. The Open Championship played the role of national open for Britain but England was lacking a professional event to do that job and it was very well supported by the European Tour right from the off.
English winners of the tournament included Mark James and Lee Westwood while other big names to triumph were Ian Woosnam, Colin Montgomerie and Darren Clarke who won his third English Open in 2002 before the event fell off the European Tour schedule. The event was reborn in the face of the adversity of 2020 as the Hero Open and played at Forest of Arden, the host of the previous three editions and could be set for a long spell back as a European Tour event.
|2020||Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club||Sam Horsfield|
2020: Sam Horsfield
Challenges always bring opportunities. The European Tour had a huge challenge reworking the schedule after the enforced shutdown of golf in the spring of 2020 and one of the opportunities created was the chance to resurrect the English Open. Sam Horsfield rose to the challenge to take advantage of the newly minted Hero Open, edging out Thomas Detry by one shot at the Forest of Arden for his maiden European Tour title.
Horsfield was full of confidence having been in contention at the British Masters a week earlier but this time he was able to maintain his title challenge. The 23 year old ended his final round with the same one shot advantage that he carried overnight for an extra special first win as it came in his native England, a feat that has so far eluded his long term mentor Ian Poulter.
While Horsfield coped with the pressure well, Detry crumbled to make a mistake at just the wrong time. The Belgian got himself into the lead with a birdie on the 17th but handed that shot back on the last. That bogey still left Horsfield in a share of the lead but a birdie-par finish proved enough for the victory.