The best is yet to come for golfing superstar James

James Sugrue, Mallow, winner of The 124th Amateur Championship at Portmarnock last Saturday. Photo compliments of the R&A.

What has been described as Mallow’s greatest ever sporting moment unfolded at the famous seaside links of Portmarnock Golf Club last Saturday when Mallow’s James Sugrue won the Amateur Open Championship and in the process bagged himself a place in the British Open, the US Open and the Masters at Augusta, while also winning a spot on the Ireland team for the Walker Cup.
To top that, James has been invited to play in the Pro-Am next Wednesday, before the start of the Dubai Irish Open at Lahinch. It has been an amazing week for the 22 year-old, who showed huge powers of recovery, and a lot of skill, to come through the week against the best amateur golfers in the world, and to claim the win which has made the golfing world take notice of a major talent in its ascendancy.
It was almost midnight at Mallow Golf Club last Saturday, but no one had any intention of heading home, as the clubhouse was abuzz with anticipation ahead of the arrival of James and his caddie and friend Conor Dowling, and when the pair eventually arrived, captains past and present were gathered at the front entrance to give them a guard of honour. James’s family and club members took it in turns to congratulate the new champion, and Club Captain John M. O’Keeffe made a speech in which he described the victory as akin to winning an Olympic medal. In a short speech, James thanked the club for the welcome, and his family for their support. It was Mallow Golf Club’s greatest night, and after such a great week of golf from the young Mallow player, one suspects that there will be even greater wins in the years ahead.
At a meeting of Cork Co. Council in County Hall this week it was decided, following a proposal from Cllrs James Kennedy and Pat Hayes, to honour James with a civic reception in the near future, once he finds an opening in his busy schedule. Cllr Kennedy congratulated the new Amateur Open champion and his caddie, and also praised James’s parents Michael and Margaret for their support which played no small part in his development as a golfer.