Smyth set for Irish Open at Baltray

Des Smyth has been offered a sponsor's invitation for next month's 3 Irish Open at Baltray.

Des Smyth celebrates his win in the 2005 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf .The Drogheda man, 56, hasn't played in the event since he finished tied 16th at Fota Island seven years ago.

But he is reported to be "over the moon" that he will have the chance to tee it up less than a mile from his home from 14-17 May.

A friend said: "Des couldn't play when the Irish Open was at Baltray in 2004 because it clashed with the Senior British Open at Royal Portrush.

"He's really looking forward to it this time because he's been a member of Baltray for many years."

Smyth was unavailable for comment as he teed it up alongside Mark James in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf in Georgia last night.

A senior tour player since 2003, his best Irish Open finish came in 1988, when he tied for second place behind Ian Woosnam at Portmarnock.

If Smyth were to win at Baltray, he would smash his own record as the oldest winner on the European Tour.

The 2006 Ryder Cup vice captain won the Madeira Islands Open aged 48 years and 34 days in 2001.