Sugrue Set for Success in 2014
By Niall O’Shea
Mallow’s James Sugure has been selected to travel to France next week with the Irish Boys for a number of matches with France. Sugrue along with Mahon’s Paul Tobin are among a team of eight golfers who will compete over four days in Nice as part of their build up for a busy season.
Sugrue started playing in Mallow at the age of five, and under the watch of Junior Officer Jo Foley, he saw his handicap drop to single figures by the time he was 13. Since then he has worked with several GUI junior coaching programmes and with his own coach, Mick Collins from Mallow Driving Range. With support from his coaches, his parents and his own hard work, Sugrue hit scratch in 2012 and currently plays off an impressive mark of +1. 2013 had several highlights for James including an Irish win at the Boys Home Internationals in England. The key point came in September when Sugrue represented Ireland in the US Junior Championship at Sawgrass. The course is home to The Players Championship, the “fifth major” and James was very impressed with the set up in Florida; “The experience was great, it was like a PGA tournament. The course was in great condition and we played from the back tees. On the final day the pins were in the Sunday positions which added to the event”. And as for the 17th, Sugrue recorded three pars and made light if the island green; “It’s an easy par 3 really, the green is huge and it’s only a flick of a wedge”!
When he returns from France he’ll be back in action with Patrician Academy Mallow as they compete in the in the Munster Finals of the Irish Schools Senior Championship. After that it’s on to England for the Peter McEvoy Trophy and then it’s on to a full schedule of provincial and national championships through the summer. Having received his first international cap at 15, James now has almost 20 caps to his name and he is now one of the seniors among the Boy’s squad. In the past three years he developed an unbeaten foursomes partnership with Robin Dawson, although Sugrue will be looking for a new partner this year as Dawson is now overage for the Boys team.
Last week James was honoured with a civic reception from Mallow Town Council and the teenager was justifiably proud of the event which marked his achievements to date. “It was very nice to be recognised by the town and it was great to have my extended family, the GUI and the club and my coach Mick Collins there to celebrate with me.” As for the future, the Mallow golfer will enter leaving cert next year and as for the future he’s hoping for a golf scholarship in third level. There are options available both in Ireland and abroad and if the golf continues to improve then he has every chance of progressing.