After his brilliant victory last week, Irishman Des Smyth became the latest Member to break through the European Senior Tour’s €1 million career earnings mark.
As he prepared for this week’s Pon Senior Open in northern Germany, the 59 year old from Drogheda, reflected on his outstanding achievement following the second win of his career at Woburn Golf Club last Sunday, where his first place cheque for €57,082 saw his Senior Tour career earnings rise to €1,033,751.
That made Smyth the 16th player in the Tour’s history to reach the €1 million milestone, although the man himself was typically modest about a feat which he achieved in just four years.
“That is news to me!” smiled Smyth at the beautiful Winston Golf resort on the outskirts of the northern German town of Schwerin.
“I really didn’t realise that I had gone through the €1 million mark – I suppose it is not something I don’t pay that close attention to if I am being honest. I think you just play to win every week and to finish as high on the Order of Merit as you can every year, but it is obviously a nice little milestone for me.
“And to do it in the space of four years makes it even better I suppose. I played my first six years as a Senior in America so to do it in four years is a nice achievement.
“As I said though, I don’t look at the money like that. My ambition is to try and win every week – that is what really drives me. You want to get the best out of your game and winning is the key to that.
“I wouldn’t say that I am burning with ambition at the age of 59 but I do start each season with the goal of winning at least once in the year and if I do that then I just look to win the second and so on and so on.
“I managed to get the win last week and to do it at Woburn again is great because it is one of our very best tournaments with a great field, great crowds and a magnificent golf course. It is a lovely package to win that one and fortunately for me I have done that twice in my Senior career.
“The good thing is that when you win one then you are obviously playing well and you look to push on from there and that is what I am trying to do this week here in Germany.”
Smyth is fully aware that he will have his work cut out to win back-to-back titles with some of The Senior Tour’s best players in town.
The Irishman will face stiff competition from the likes of Barry Lane, Peter Fowler, Tim Thelen, Anders Forsbrand and Gary Wolstenholme over the Winston Open course, but there is one name in particular that stands out. Step forward Mr Bernhard Langer.
“Bernhard is still the man to aim at,” said Smyth. “He is, in my opinion, the Number One Senior player in the world and he is still the benchmark for us all.
“So we will all be aiming for Bernhard this week – if you can keep pace with him then you are never going to be far from the top of the leaderboard.”