Des Smyth will be bidding for his seventh title when the 100th Ladbrokes.com Irish PGA is played at Seapoint–the course he co-designed with childhood friend Declan Branigan–from September 23-26.
Padraig Harrington and Rory McIlroy are not expected to tee it up as the event, which takes place the week before the Ryder Cup, clashes with the US Tour championship in Atlanta.
However, Irish PGA officials are hopeful that players like Shane Lowry, Damien McGrane, Peter Lawrie, Michael Hoey or Gary Murphy can be persuaded to play at the Drogheda links.
Course designer Smyth won the title in 1979, 1985, 1986, 1990, 1996 and 2001 but was forced to pull out of last year’s edition at The European Club because of injury.
A win for Smyth would see him move ahead of six-time winner Harrington on the all-time list headed by Christy O’Connor Snr and Harry Bradshaw, who both lifted the trophy 10 times.