Golf: Former British Open winner Louis Oosthuizen will compete in 2018 S'pore Open

Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa plays his shot from the fourth tee during round three of the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston, on Sept 3, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - South African Louis Oosthuizen will compete in next year's SMBC Singapore Open, organisers announced on Monday (Sept 25).

The 2010 Open Championship winner, runner-up when he last played in Singapore and with five runner-up finishes at golf's Majors, is the latest star golfer to confirm his participation for the Jan 18-21 tournament.

Reigning US Masters champion Sergio Garcia from Spain will also compete at the US$1 million (S$1.35 million) event at the Sentosa Golf Club.

The 72-hole tournament 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.

In August, Oosthuizen finishes joint second in the US PGA Championship - giving him the distinction of finishing runner-up in all four Majors.

He is only the seventh golfer to accomplish this feat, joining Craig Wood, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, and Phil Mickelson.

His record of runner-up finishes are: the 2012 US Masters, where he lost in a sudden death play-off, the 2015 U.S. Open, the 2015 Open Championship where he was defeated in a four-hole aggregate playoff, and this year's PGA Championship.

His last visit to Singapore also ended with a near miss. He lost in a play-off to Italy's Matteo Manassero in the 2012 edition.

A year earlier, the South African claimed third place at Sentosa, having just missed out on a play-off by a shot.

"You could say I have some unfinished business in Singapore," said Oosthuizen.

"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."

Oosthuizen is an eight-time winner on the European Tour - including the 2012 Malaysian Open - and in South Africa he has triumphed on seven occasions.

"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!" added the 34-year-old.

He was recently selected to represent the International team in this month's Presidents Cup - an event he also played in 2013 and 2015.

Thailand's Prayad Marksaeng won last year's SMBC Singapore Open, in what was the 51st edition of the annual event.

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