James Sugrue got 2020 off to a flying start last week with a top six finish in the South African Amateur Championship. While he’ll be happy with the result, the Mallow man was in with a chance of winning going into the final two rounds. Playing in the famous Leopard Creek course, Sugrue opened with rounds of 69 and 68, and at one point he was ten under during his second round. Tougher weather conditions in the final two days of the event meant that scores were far higher. Sugrue was ten shots worse off in the third round with a 78, and he closed with 76 in the last round. That meant he was seven shots off the lead and his tied sixth result alongside Caolan Rafferty meant he was best of the Irish. Sugrue along with the Irish team remain in South Africa for another week. The team, along with Captain John Carroll have now move to Rand Park, which hosted the European Tour’s South African Open in January. That’s the host course for the South African Strokeplay this week. It’s be a busy few weeks for Sugrue as he builds up for his Masters appearance in April. After Sough Africa he’s off to Oman to take up an invite for the European Tour event. Entries are now open for all the GUI Championships. The first national event is the East of Ireland which this year is a 54/16 event. The qualifying strokeplay will be geld over three rounds with the top 16 golfers going through to a reduced four round matchplay. The event retains its usual Easter date on the calendar. The first event on the Munster Schedule is the Munster Boys which is being hosted by Kinsale in mid-April. After that Cork will host the Munster Strokeplay which takes place on the May Bank Holiday weekend. Prior to the Munster Strokeplay there are scratch cups scheduled in Muskerry and Lee Valley while Fota Island have scheduled their scratch cup for Monday 4th May.
The month of May will see the qualifying rounds of the Bruen and Purcell while Tralee will also host the popular Kerry Scratch Cup. The World Handicap System (WHS) will come into effect from November and education seminars will commence in Munster this month. They will be hosted jointly by GUI/ILGU personnel and there are two seminars scheduled for Cork. Lee Valley will host a seminar on Tuesday 25th while Cork Golf Club will host a seminar on Thursday 5th March. Each club is entitled to send four members in total (two men and two women) from the Ladies’ and Men’s Handicap and Competition Committees.