With two victories on the 2005 US Champions Tour under his belt, Ireland’s Des Smyth will lead 19 European Seniors Tour Members into the US Senior PGA Championship at Laurel Valley Golf Club, Ligonier, USA.
Smyth is the Seniors Tour’s outstanding performer in the USA this season after notching two wins – at the SBC Classic and the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf – in the space of three tournaments.
The 52 year old will be among the favourites to wrest the US Senior PGA Championship title from Hale Irwin of the USA, who recorded his fourth victory in the event at Valhalla Golf Club last season.
A total of 21 Major Champions will tee off at Laurel Valley, with Honorary Seniors Tour Members Bob Charles, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player amongst them.
The first three winners on the 2005 Seniors Tour Schedule, Argentina’s Luis Carbonetti, Ireland’s Denis O’Sullivan and Bob Lendzion of the USA will all have the opportunity to add to their respective victories in Barbados, Tobago and Egypt at this, the first Major of the Seniors Tour season.
But they will meet strong resistance from some of golf’s legendary figures. The entry list for the US Senior PGA Championship reads like a Who’s Who of golfing greats, with Charles, Palmer and Player joined by the likes of Ben Crenshaw, Raymond Floyd, Larry Nelson, Tom Watson and Fuzzy Zoeller.
There are also seven former Ryder Cup Captains in the field, with Englishman Mark James, who Captained Europe in 1999, amongst them.