Westwood and Willett to play in Irish Open
Lee Westwood and Danny Willett have been added to the field for this year’s Irish Open at Portstewart.
They are the latest high-profile players to commit to the tournament, which is hosted by Rory McIlroy.
Westwood and Willett have been joined by fellow Englishmen Tyrrell Hatton and Tommy Fleetwood, with a record prize fund of nearly £5.5m on offer.
Olympic champion Justin Rose and world number 12 Jon Rahm will also take part in the tournament from 6 to 9 July.
This year’s Irish Open is one of the eight events on the European Tour’s lucrative new Rolex Series, a scenario that is likely to attract further big names to Portstewart.
Ten-time Ryder Cup veteran Westwood has been in the top five at the Irish Open three times in his career and finished in a tie for 10th at The K Club last year.
“Going back to a links course this year definitely adds to the appeal for a lot of the guys,” Westwood said. “I’ve heard great things about Portstewart so hopefully I can bring some form into the week and play well in front of the Northern Irish fans – who were fantastic in 2015.”
Willett played in the final group alongside McIlroy on the final day last year and has had three top-10 finishes in his six appearances so far.
“I love playing in front of the Irish golf fans,” Willett said. “They’ve always given me a great reception, right back to when I played the Walker Cup in Northern Ireland in 2007, and I think that’s part of the reason why I have played so well there in the last few years.
“It’s good to get some links golf under your belt in the run-up to the Open Championship and I’m sure Portstewart will provide great preparation.”