There was huge disappointment for James Sugrue today as he missed the cut in Royal Portrush by a single stroke. The Amateur Champion was level par going into the second round and in with a great chance of qualifying for the weekend, but a triple bogey on the 14th cost the Mallow man as it put him one outside the cut mark. Playing alongside Darren Clarke again, Sugrue started brightly with a birdie on the par 3 third hole which got him back into the red on one under. He dropped a shot on the next par three but a birdie on the 8th had him back to -1 halfway around the course in Portrush. Sugrue was playing some very steady golf until the 14th. The most difficult hole on the course lived up to its billing when James found trouble and walked off with a seven. That pushed him out to +2, one shot outside the projected cut. Despite trying hard on each of the last four holes, Sugrue couldn’t find a birdie, missing by inches with good putts on the 16th and 18th. Those near misses proved crucial as the cut mark hovered at +1 for most of the day. It drifted to +2 in the worst of the wet weather but came back to +1 as the later starters coped well with the conditions. Sugrue needed six golfers on +1 to drop a shot to advance to the weekend, but the lack of wind definitely helped the later starters, and the cut mark stayed at +1.
Speaking after the round, Sugrue was as pragmatic as ever. “I was happy with the way I played coming in. I had a good chance on 18, just sat on the lip. The goal, really, this week was to get the silver medal and make the cut. But, yeah, a bit disappointed obviously. But that’s golf.” Sugrue finished his Open adventure as the joint leading amateur, but misses out on the Silver Medal as he failed to play 72 holes.
There’s no rest for Sugrue, he’s off to Royal Liverpool on Monday for Walker Cup practice, and then it’s back to Lahinch for the South of Ireland.