Eamonn Darcy has decided to get tough as he bids to end his winless streak in this week’s €350,000 Irish Seniors Open at Ballybunion.

The weird swinging Wicklow man has been honing his game on the unforgiving links at The European Club.

Ballybunion hosts the Irish Seniors Open this week.And he hopes he’ll be battle hardened by the Brittas Bay track as he bids end a nightmare run that’s seen him lose three play-offs and finish second a heart-breaking eight times since 2002.

Beaten by Mark James in sudden-death in Mallorca just two weeks ago, Darcy said: “I am feeling good and I have been working on my links game. I have been playing a lot of golf down in the European Club which is fantastic for your game and very, very tough.

“I’m playing half decent at the moment and I would love to have gone straight from Mallorca to Ballybunion. So that’s why I’ve kept on playing hard so I don’t lose the feel. If I still have the game I believe I’ve got a great chance.”

AIB and Failte Ireland are backing the 13th edition of the Irish Seniors Open with Ian Woosnam, Sam Torrance, Costantino Rocca and Irish stars Des Smyth, Denis O’Sullivan and Jimmy Heggarty set to tee it up tomorrow (Friday)

An Irishman hasn’t won since Joe McDermott triumphed at Woodbrook 11 years ago and Darcy has set his sights on the € 52,500 top prize after his showing in Mallorca.

He blasted a final round 65 to top the leaderboard but was amazed to be matched on 10 under by his former Ryder Cup team mate James.

The former Ryder Cup skipper edged him out with a birdie at the third play-off hole but Darcy believes he’s due to break his Seniors Tour duck at some stage and Ballybunion is right up his street.

He said: “I hardly touched a club all winter but I played really solidly in the final round in Mallorca and I was disappointed not to get the win in the end.

“I thought I had him on the first play-off hole because I hit a fabulous putt that did everything but go into the hole. But you know me in play-offs, I don’t have a great record in them."

Darcy contested four play-offs during his European Tour career but lost all four.

And his catalogue of near misses has continued since he joined the European Seniors Tour with three play-off defeats since.

He said: "Hopefully we can end the jinx in Ballybunion because I just love links golf. I had two great chances to win the PGA at Royal St George’s but Arnold Palmer beat me by a shot in 1975 and Neil Coles beat me in a play-off in 1976.

“I’d love to get a good run at it. I’ve played Ballybunion very little. The last time I played there Patrick Sjöland won the Irish Open there and that was a long time ago.”