Des Smyth

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Des Smyth
Personal information
Full nameDesmond John Smyth
Born (1953-02-12) 12 February 1953 (age 70)
Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight168 lb (76 kg; 12.0 st)
Sporting nationality Ireland
ResidenceDrogheda, County Louth, Ireland
Turned professional1974
Former tour(s)European Tour
European Senior Tour
PGA Tour Champions
Professional wins26
Highest ranking48 (7 May 1989)[1]
Number of wins by tour
European Tour8
PGA Tour Champions2
European Senior Tour5
Other9 (regular)
2 (senior)
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipDNP
U.S. OpenDNP
The Open ChampionshipT4: 1982

Desmond John Smyth (born 12 February 1953) is an Irish professional golfer. He won eight times on the European Tour between 1979 and 2001. He also had a successful senior career winning twice on the PGA Tour Champions and five times on the European Senior Tour between 2005 and 2012. He played in two Ryder Cup matches, 1979 and 1981.

Professional career[edit]

Smyth turned professional in 1974 and was a member of the European Tour for over a quarter of a century. His best finish on the European Tour Order of Merit was seventh in 1988. He won eight tournaments on the tour across four different decades, breaking Neil Coles' record as the oldest man to win a European Tour event when he claimed the 2001 Madeira Island Open at the age of 48 years and 34 days. This record was broken by Miguel Ángel Jiménez (48 years, 11 months, 13 days) at the 2012 UBS Hong Kong Open.

Smyth represented Europe in the Ryder Cup in 1979 and 1981, losing on both occasions to the United States. Smyth also represented his country in the World Cup and the Alfred Dunhill Cup many times and was a member of the Irish team (alongside Eamonn Darcy and Ronan Rafferty) which won the latter in 1988. At the 2006 Ryder Cup, he was one of Ian Woosnam's vice-captains.[2]

After turning fifty in 2003, Smyth had a successful career in senior golf, winning tournaments on both the Champions Tour and the European Senior Tour.

Smyth is the only golfer to win European Tour events in 4 different decades.

Personal life[edit]

Smyth has a son, Greg, a horticultural student at IT Blanchardstown. Greg won Ireland's eighth largest lottery jackpot of €9,426,636 on 13 August 2008.[3]

Amateur wins[edit]

  • 1973 West of Ireland Amateur Open Championship

Professional wins (26)[edit]

European Tour wins (8)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 5 Aug 1979 Sun Alliance Match Play Championship 1 up Zimbabwe Nick Price
2 8 Jun 1980 Newcastle Brown "900" Open −12 (67-70-70-69=276) 1 stroke England Graham Burroughs, England Neil Coles,
Australia Greg Norman
3 22 Jun 1980 Cold Shield Greater Manchester Open −7 (67-71-69-66=273) Playoff England Brian Waites
4 28 Jun 1981 Coral Classic −6 (67-72-70-73=282) 2 strokes England Michael King, West Germany Bernhard Langer,
Republic of Ireland John O'Leary
5 30 Oct 1983 Sanyo Open −9 (72-66-70-71=279) 1 stroke South Africa Hugh Baiocchi, England Mark James
6 23 Oct 1988 BNP Jersey Open −15 (69-68-69-67=273) Playoff England Roger Chapman
7 31 Oct 1993 Madrid Open −16 (65-68-68-71=272) 3 strokes Spain Domingo Hospital, Spain José Rivero,
England Mark Roe, South Africa Wayne Westner
8 18 Mar 2001 Madeira Island Open −18 (66-70-68-66=270) 2 strokes England John Bickerton

European Tour playoff record (2–3)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1980 Cold Shield Greater Manchester Open England Brian Waites Won with birdie on sixth extra hole
2 1982 Jersey Open Republic of Ireland Eamonn Darcy, Scotland Bernard Gallacher Gallacher won with par on fifth extra hole
Darcy eliminated by birdie on second hole
3 1984 Sanyo Open Scotland Sam Torrance Lost to par on first extra hole
4 1986 Whyte & Mackay PGA Championship Australia Rodger Davis Lost to bogey on third extra hole
5 1988 BNP Jersey Open England Roger Chapman Won with birdie on fifth extra hole

Other wins (9)[edit]

Champions Tour wins (2)[edit]

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 13 Mar 2005 SBC Classic −5 (71-72-68=211) 1 stroke Republic of Ireland Mark McNulty, United States D. A. Weibring
2 24 Apr 2005 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf −8 (66-71-71=208) 2 strokes United States Tom Jenkins

Champions Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2005 The Senior British Open Championship United States Tom Watson Lost to par on third extra hole

European Senior Tour wins (5)[edit]

Tour Championships (1)
Other European Senior Tour (4)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 12 Nov 2005 Arcapita Seniors Tour Championship −10 (68-68-70=206) 2 strokes Scotland John Chillas
2 5 Aug 2007 Wentworth Senior Masters −6 (70-71-69=210) 2 strokes New Zealand Bob Charles
3 5 Sep 2010 Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters −10 (66-71-69=206) 3 strokes England Carl Mason
4 26 Jun 2011 Van Lanschot Senior Open −6 (71-74-65=210) 2 strokes Australia Peter Fowler, United States Tim Thelen
5 2 Sep 2012 Travis Perkins plc Senior Masters (2) −10 (72-66-68=206) 1 stroke Australia Peter Fowler

European Senior Tour playoff record (0–2)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 2005 The Senior British Open Championship United States Tom Watson Lost to par on third extra hole
2 2011 Cannes Mougins Masters Spain Juan Quirós Lost to birdie on second extra hole

Other senior wins (2)[edit]

Results in major championships[edit]

Tournament 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
The Open Championship CUT CUT CUT
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
The Open Championship CUT T31 T4 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
The Open Championship CUT T44 CUT T27 CUT DQ T15 CUT
Tournament 2000 2001 2002
The Open Championship T13 T28

Note: Smyth only played in The Open Championship.

  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the half-way cut (3rd round cut in 1977, 1980 and 1985 Open Championships)
DQ = Disqualified
"T" = tied

Team appearances[edit]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Week 18 1989 Ending 7 May 1989" (pdf). OWGR. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  2. ^ "Des Smyth & Peter Baker named Ryder Cup assistants"
  3. ^ "Golfer's son wins Lotto jackpot". RTÉ. 14 August 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008.
  4. ^ "Glen Dimplex Int'nal Matchplay Ch'ship". The Daily Telegraph. 16 October 1995. p. 47.

External links[edit]