Mallow golfer James Sugrue had few days at home earlier this week. The tour pro returned from Sweden on Sunday after competing in his first two Challenge Tour events. Sugrue made the cut in last week’s event and bagged €1,800 in prize money. There was more good news this week when he was given €17,500 in Sport Ireland funding to assist with his first year on tour. Speaking from home after three weeks on the road, James was happy with his two tour starts. “I played nicely, there were plenty of birdies but there were a few mistakes and course management errors, probably from the lack of playing as opposed to anything else. I feel I’m swinging it well and putting nicely so hopefully there’s a low week coming soon.”
After a few days of walking the dogs and having a “proper dinner”, Sugrue is looking forward Continue reading →
Kinsale native Shane Fitzsimons is one of a handful of spectators from Ireland in Seminole this week, and the US based golfer is savouring every bit of the Walker Cup experience. He followed John Murphy for 35 holes yesterday, watching his neighbour play some unbelievable golf as he won his foursomes match and narrowly lost his singles match.
“John and Mark’s comeback in the foursomes was incredible and John almost pulled it off again in the singles. Even after having an insurmountable task he was sensational on the back 9. Hammer was 4 under after 9, I’m not sure there was better golf that that yesterday. There was some great shots, his tee shot on 13, trading birdies on 15, bunker shot on 16 and his putt had a 90 degree break on it.”
The course is being compared to Augusta, hard fairways, fast greens and tricky slopes are making the golf exciting: “The course is magnificent, the greens are hard and fast, and you’re not seeing the elevations on the tee. Pin placement as tough as you would see anywhere, the course was set up for par to be a good score.”
“There’s a small crowd, just 1,500 spectators but the Irish find each other. Eoghan O’Connell is here, Paul Buckley, Gerry McIlroy a few Irish based in Florida. John and Mark’s coaches from Louisville and Wake Forest also made the trip. It’s like being at a match when golf started, no ropes, walking the fairways with the players. The atmosphere is subdued with a little clapping for a good shot. It’s unlike any golf event I have been at, and I can’t imagine there will be another one like is as we come out of Covid.”
Shane was back on the course today supporting the Irish pair as they clocked up another win, and he’s sure to be on the first tee again for the singles as John Murphy takes on Ricky Castillo.
John Murphy and Mark Power came from behind to win the first point for GB&I this afternoon in the opening session of the Walker Cup. Playing at a windy Seminole Golf Club on the Atlantic coast in Florida, the pair only took the lead on the 17th, and a measured two putt on the final green saw the pair claim the point in the morning foursomes. The two Irish players were paired together, while it was expected both teams were hit by illness earlier in the week and it was unclear who would be fit to play today.
Needless to day Murphy was still on a high when it came to his post round interview with the Golf Channel, and he explained how they dealt with the pressure of being three down on two occasions. “I said to Mark both times we’re playing great, we’ve got to stick to what we’re doing. We got a couple of bad breaks early on but lets not try and force anything, this is a golf course for mistakes and we’ll let them make the mistakes. We stuck to our gameplan very well and stayed patient.”
Power too was delighted with the result and credited Murphy with some solid advice early in the round, “The old head here calmed me down today, he said just hit fairways and hit greens and we’ll wear these guys down.” Playing a Walker Cup match with a fellow Irishman was a real treat for both Murphy & Power and the Kilkenny man did a great job of describing it.
“It’s amazing. We were talking about it this week, we played Home Internationals together, played together when we were 15 and 16. On the first tee we said we were just going to just going to enjoy today and embrace it.”
It was a day of comebacks for GB&I. At one stage they were 4-0 down on the course but when the last match finished it was 2-2 on the scoreboard.
Both Irish golfers are back in action this evening in the opening singles. Power is out second against Davis Thompson while Murphy has the anchor spot on the team and will face world No 18 Cole Hammer. They tee off at 8.47pm (Irish time) with coverage continuing on Sky Sports and the Golf Channel.
2:30 p.m. – Alex Fitzpatrick, GB&I vs. Pierceson Coody, USA
2:41 p.m. – Mark Power, GB&I vs. Davis Thompson, USA
2:52 p.m. – Ben Schmidt, GB&I vs. Ricky Castillo, USA
3:03 p.m. – Ben Jones, GB&I vs. Tyler Strafaci, USA
3:14 p.m. – Joe Long, GB&I vs. Quade Cummins, USA
3:25 p.m. – Angus Flanagan, GB&I vs. Austin Eckroat, USA
3:36 p.m. – Barclay Brown, GB&I vs. John Pak, USA
3:47 p.m. – John Murphy, GB&I vs. Cole Hammer, USA
Kinsale Golf Club celebrates John Murphy’s participation in the Walker Cup Picture: Niall O’Shea
Excitement is building in Kinsale as the golf club and the community look forward to watching John Murphy compete in the Walker Cup this weekend. Murphy will become just the fifth Cork golfer to take part in the Walker Cup after the Kentucky based golfer was selected on the team last month. Although many would have liked to travel to Seminole in Florida, not even his family or his coach were able to travel. That didn’t stop the Officers of Kinsale Golf Club from celebrating closer to home. The club unveiled a Walker Cup flag last Sunday, a nice gesture to connect the members with their star player in Florida. Watch by John’s parents Owen and Carmel, his sister Faye raised the flag in front of the clubhouse, and next week the Walker Cup pin flags will feature on Continue reading →
“I’m just about to head out for my first 18 holes since The Masters which is
hard to believe.” That was the first comment from Mallow’s James Sugrue as he started his 2021 preparations in Spain on Friday. Sugrue headed of earlier this week, giving himself two weeks to tune up for three Challenge Tour Events in May. James received invitations to play in the Range Servant Challenge and the Dormy Open in Sweden before playing in the Irish Challenge in Portmarnock Links at the end of the month.