Sugrue Snags Irish Open Start

James Sugrue

He might have been disappointed going to bed on Friday night, but James Sugrue woke up to the good news that he had secured an invitation to next week’s Irish Open.  After a well-placed comment from Lee Westwood, the European Tour extended an invitation to the 2019 Amateur Champion.  Sugrue was in action in New York at the US Open, and disappointingly missed the cut after failing to battle back in the second round.  Short of tournament golf, Sugrue is keen to maximise all opportunities for top level golf.  His season will run until November when he’s due to play in the Masters at Augusta.

It was after his opening round on Thursday that the issue of the Irish Open came up.  Playing partner Lee Westwood expressed surprise tha Continue reading


Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Friday

It was a 5.30am start this morning, it wasn’t really a problem as we were waking up around that time anyway.  We got to the club on time and had a bit of breakfast, and James did a good warm up again.  He did a final bit of putting before heading to the first tee.  It was cold this morning and a bit windy, but we were all systems go to hit a good number.  But a slight double cross off the tee led to a bad lie, and a hacked 8 iron got snagged by the rough around 20 yards short of the green.

Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Thursday 

That was the worst lie I’d seen all week and all of a sudden we’re walking off with a 7.  You plan and hope for a good start and you end up with a triple, I guess it’s typical of the US Open.  That set us back a bit but James played a lot nicer today.  He was six over for two holes and three over for the other 16.  I know all 18 holes count, but I think that proved he played some pretty good golf today when you look at some of the scoring.  He did get three birdies today, including one on the last hole, so it was nice to walk off those greens with something.  The guys playing with us were just as sound again today, and Bubba was very impressive shooting one under for the round.

The final score was disappointing but it was a great experience.  Lots of people were saying that a first US Open is always going to be tough but he wasn’t depth at all and it just wasn’t his week.

After the round I put the clubs away and we got a bit of lunch.  We went back out in the afternoon and followed Tiger, Rory and Justin Thomas for a few holes.  It’s very strange to be watching the most popular players in the world at a major, and have next to nobody following them.  We have no firm plans for the weekend, but we’ll probably watch some more golf while we are here.



Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Thursday

Not a good day at the office today!  The morning went to plan, we got to the course and had a good warm up.  We followed the schedule and James was feeling good, he was hitting it really well on the range.  But when we got out on the course he missed his spots by a yard or two and that just killed him.  Its amazing that a yard or two can make such a difference but we knew it was going to be tight, and that small margin meant that James couldn’t get anything going.

Although the golf was tough for James, the company was good, Lee Westwood was absolutely sound to the both of us.  Bubba didn’t say much but his caddie Teddy was hilarious and a great character.  It was cool to see Bubba take a driver off the deck at one stage, you don’t see too many people trying that on tour.

Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Wednesday



We have an early start in the morning, we’re off the 1st tee at 7.34am.   That means a quick turnaround so we’re already switched on to the second round.  We’re here and we have a job to do.  The plan for tomorrow is very simple – shoot 65!

Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Wednesday

It’s getting closer to Thursday!  Mike and myself got to the course early this morning to walk the back nine and mark out all of the slopes in the yardage book, that was a help when James played it later on.  As planned, we played the back nine this afternoon after a short game and range session.  James is in good form and over the last two days he has done some great work.  He’s now hitting it the best I’ve ever seen him hit it, and that’s exactly what’s needed around here.  There’s still lots of talk about how tough the course is, although it’s mostly from the media now.  The players seem to be focused on getting around and staying out of trouble and that’s definitely what James is focused on.

The lack of fans should help if anything, to be honest it makes things more relaxed.  I don’t think it’s an issue, apart from the cameras it’s just like most tournaments where I’ve been on the bag.  There wasn’t too many people following us for the first four days in Portmarnock, and even less when were in Co Louth or Rosapenna for qualifiers over the past two years.

Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Tuesday

The plan for tomorrow will be the same as any other tournament.  His tee time is 12.54 so we’ll plan to get to the course around 11.30, get some food and warm up on the range.  He’ll get a few chips and putts in before the walk to the 10th tee and then it just time to go for it.  I’m buzzing to get going now, there’s a great energy around the course with the tournament so close.  Hopefully he’ll play well and have a good number tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll enjoy it.  I brought the bag to the hotel room tonight to make sure the 1 iron came out of the bag, and to make absolutely sure I only had 14 clubs in the bag.