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
to his third professional event in three weeks. “I can’t wait to get to Portmarnock Links and see what the place is like. I’ve never played it so I’m excited to see what it’s like.” Sugrue has nice memories of that part of Dublin, his won the Amateur Championship in the adjacent Portmarnock Golf Club in 2019.
After the quick break in Mallow, it’s on to Dublin for Sugrue who will take part in the Irish Challenge at Portmarnock Links this week. The field has a strong local presence with pros and Golf Ireland amateurs featuring including Peter O’Keeffe. This is another opportunity for Sugrue to get back into the competitive mindset and following last week’s positive performance he’ll be hoping to get that low week. Unfortunately no spectators will be allowing into the north Dublin venue, the Challenge Tour are still operating under a number of restrictions in line with public health guidance. It’s likely that Sugrue will feature in a number of Challenge Tour events in June with events taking place in France, Czech Republic and Spain.
There was further good news for Mallow golfer when he was confirmed as part of the Team Ireland Golf scheme from Sport Ireland. Sugrue has been awarded €17,500 in funding for 2021, and is one of 16 golfers to receive funding for the season. The funding scheme has been in place for many years and provides up and coming players with grant funding to help them start in the pro ranks.
Golf Ireland Chief Executive, Mark Kennelly commented “Golf Ireland are extremely grateful to Sport Ireland for the 25% increase in funding for 2021. This funding has enabled Team Ireland Golf to continue to financially support our emerging professional players to enable them to get out and compete on tour after a challenging 2020 for many of them”.