Irish Open 2019: Former Open champion Louis Oosthuizen to play at Lahinch

Oosthuizen last played in the Irish Open 10 years ago
Oosthuizen last played in the Irish Open 10 years ago

South African Louis Oosthuizen will bridge a 10-year gap since his last Irish Open appearance when he plays at this year's event in Lahinch in July.

The world number 20 will hone his links skills ahead of the Open Championship at Royal Portush two weeks later.

"Playing in America, you lose the feel of links golf and you need a proper links course to get those low running shots back," said Oosthuizen.

The 36-year-old won The Open at St Andrews by seven strokes in 2010.

He came agonisingly close to a second Open title in 2015 as he lost out in a three-way play-off to Zach Johnson.

Oosthuizen joins 2018 Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood, former Masters Champion Danny Willett and former World Number one Lee Westwood in the field for the second Rolex Series event of the 2019 Race to Dubai.

Irish players Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry have also confirmed their participation in the event, which is hosted by 2014 Ryder Cup winning captain Paul McGinley.

Oosthuizen has enjoyed some form on an Irish coastal venue, having claimed a top-five finish in the Irish Open at the County Louth Golf Club in 2007.

He will enter this summer high on confidence after coming close to a maiden PGA Tour triumph at the Valspar Championship last week.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back to Ireland and playing links golf again," said Oosthuizen. "It'll be three weeks of links golf.

"I'll be over there in Ireland for three weeks and I'll have the family with me, so it'll be fun.

"I'll spend the week playing links golf, the week in between taking a break with the family, drive around Ireland, go along the West coast all the way up to Portrush. It should be fun.

"I don't know much about Lahinch - I spoke to Paul about it and he's really been telling me what he's trying to achieve and how the golf course will look."

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