James Sugrue wins South of Ireland Open

James Sugrue, the newly-crowned South of Ireland Amateur Open champion, pictured at Mallow Golf Club on Sunday night with Lady President Marguerite, Captain Alan Wilson, Lady Captain Aisling O’Connor, and President Frank Ryan.

There were great celebrations at Mallow Golf Club on Sunday night after 20 year-old James Sugrue captured the prestigious South of Ireland Amateur Open at Lahinch Golf Club, becoming only the second member since Mervyn Owens in 2005 to lift the famous trophy.
James, who has already won the Connacht Boys and Munster Youths titles, is a seasoned golfer for someone so young and has three years of international golf experience to call on, though he went into last week’s South of Ireland as underdog having missed the cut in his first two appearances at the event. Last week, however, he was in inspired form, beating all before him on his way to the final, where he met the fancied Conor O’Rourke from Naas. The day was extremely challenging for golf, with gusts of up to 40mph buffeting the course in Lahinch, but Sugrue was in no mood to let the wind beat him, hitting the ball with tremendous confidence, and he was calmness personified as he went about his job. The game was tight all the way, with both golfers showing tremendous skill, but the Mallow player went on a charge from the 10th to 12th hole and never looked back as he pulled away for a 3 and 2 victory.
After his win, James thanked his coach Michael Collins, and also AimPoint expert Gareth McShea who worked on his putting, which proved so crucial in Sunday’s win.
The clubhouse in Mallow Golf Club was full of well-wishers on Sunday night, as Captains, Presidents and club members joined James and the Sugrue family in a special celebration, with the trophy having pride of place. As for James’s next career move, who knows, but many great golfers have emerged from the South of Ireland Amateur Open in the past, and the confidence that comes from beating the best amateurs in the country will have done James no harm at all.