Golf: Oosthuizen back for 'unfinished business' at Singapore Open

South Africa's  Louis Oosthuizen  plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club on Aug 13, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen plays his shot from the third tee during the final round of the 2017 PGA Championship at Quail Hollow Club on Aug 13, 2017 in Charlotte, North Carolina. PHOTO: AFP

With unfinished business on his mind, South African Louis Oosthuizen will make his return to next year's SMBC Singapore Open after a five-year absence.

The 2010 British Open champion is the latest high-profile addition to the US$1 million (S$1.35 million) tournament held at Sentosa Golf Club. Reigning US Masters winner Sergio Garcia, who was tied for 11th at the Serapong Course on his Singapore Open debut earlier this year, confirmed he will return for next year's Jan 18-21 event.

The Singapore Open was not staged from 2013 to 2015 after previous sponsor Barclays pulled out. Japanese bank SMBC came on board last year.

Oosthuizen's last visit to the Republic in 2012 ended with a near-miss. He lost in a play-off to Italy's Matteo Manassero. The previous year, Oosthuizen finished third, missing out on the play-off by a shot.

The 34-year-old's last title was the 2016 ISPS Handa Perth International on the European Tour, where he has won eight times. He said yesterday: "You could say I have some unfinished business in Singapore.

"I am really looking forward to getting back there and playing in the SMBC Singapore Open. It will be the perfect way for me to start the season, on a great golf course, where I have great memories and where I know I can win."

The 72-hole tournament, won by 51-year-old Thai veteran Prayad Marksaeng in January, will be jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour and the Japan Golf Tour Organisation. It will form the opening event of the season on both circuits.

Last month, Oosthuizen finished joint second at the PGA Championship, making him only the seventh golfer to finish runner-up in all four Majors.

The other six are Craig Wood, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman and Phil Mickelson.

Yet Oosthuizen, who will represent the International team in this week's Presidents Cup, cares only for trophies and hopes to end his winless streak in Singapore.

He said: "I am really focused on winning titles and competing week in and week out and in 2018 that hopefully means starting with the SMBC Singapore Open."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 26, 2017, with the headline 'Oosthuizen back for 'unfinished business' at S'pore Open'. Print Edition | Subscribe