It was another solid performance from Mallow’s James Sugrue yesterday as he carded a one under par 71 at the third round of the South African Strokeplay Championship. After earlier rounds of -5 and -3, yesterday’s one under was more modest, but he maintained his position on the leaderboard. Two bogies and three birdies meant that Sugrue finished on -1 and an aggregate of -9 for his 54 holes.
Sugrue is now seven shots off the lead, meaning a win is probably out of reach, but a top ten finish will add to Sugrue’s very positive start to the season and it will have a positive impact on his WAGR ranking. He’s also the best of the strong Continue reading
James Sugrue had another good start to a tournament when he shot a 5 under par round on the first day of the Southern African Amateur Strokeplay. Although an opening birdie was followed by a bogey, Sugrue was back in the red on -3 at the turn. He added another three birdies on the second nine but a bogey on his final hole meant that he signed for 5 under to finish best of the Irish in fourth place. That score leaves him just one shot off the lead which is held by three golfers.
Rob Brazill was the next best of the Irish, finishing the top ten. He had a memorable ace on the par three 16th, but unfortunately for Rob he had a triple bogey 8 on the next hole. Ronan Mullarney, Mark Power and Conor Purcell are Continue reading
James Sugrue (Mallow) teeing off in the third round of the South of Ireland Championship at Lahinch. Picture: Niall O’Shea
James Sugrue lost his second round match in the South African Amateur Open this morning, losing out 4&2 to the top ranked home player. Although he face a tough challenge, Sugrue had played well enough in the opening three days to fancy his chances against the home favourite. Sugrue shot rounds of 68 and 73 over the weekend to finish in 15th place after the 36 hole qualifier. He went on to record a 2&1 win over Aymeric Laussot from France, thanks to a nice birdie on his final hole. Although faced with Nienaber who is 68th in the WAGR rankings, Sugrue would have fancied his chances. The South African played to his WAGR position however and was six under through 11 holes. Sugrue pulled a few shots back but when Nienaber birdied the 16th that was enough to close out a 4&2 win.
Ronan Mularney, Conor Purcell and Caolan Rafferty all made it through to the second round while Rob Brazill, Mark Power, Tiernan McLarnon and Alex Gleeson lost out in the round of 64. Play continues today and all nine of the Irish squad will remain in SOuth Africa to compete in the SA Strokeplay which commences next week. The travelling squad which includes John Carroll (Captain) and Neil Manchip (Coach) are combining both events into an extended winter coaching session.
This year could be summarised as a game of two halves for John Murphy. The Kinsale golfer spent the first half of the year playing well but struggling to get results, but the second half saw him hit some key milestones. These included an international win, an Irish cap and get finish to the season back in college in the US. While 2018 may have been his best year, Murphy didn’t feel like that at the beginning of the year a he explained. “The college semester was difficult for me” recalled Murphy. “I didn’t feel like I was competing as I had in the past. I wasn’t producing results that were reflecting how I was playing. In all honesty, I was worried, I was shooting some poor scores and I was getting very frustrated with myself. It was tough. I remember having a call with my parents at regionals where I just shot 7 over par. I told them I was playing well but I just couldn’t score, and then we all realized that I had been saying that all semester, and maybe I was being delusional. The week I got back Continue reading
Peter O’Keeffe (Douglas) rejoins the Munster team for the first time since 2007 when he was part of the winning team. Picture: Niall O’Shea
It’s been a busy off season for Peter O’Keeffe, while many golfers have put the sticks away until January, O’Keeffe is still working hard. The Doulas elite amateur was in Spain last week, and he finished sixth in a Gecko Tour event. The Gecko Tour is a mini-tour based in Spain, generally featuring emerging professional golfers. O’Keeffe shot a final round 67 to jump up the leaderboard and finish on -4 for his 54 holes. It was a good finish for Peter, he was +3 halfway though his second round so his strong finish was a real positive. Peter has had another good year at the top level. In March he retained his Kerry Scratch Cup title, and while he didn’t repeat his 2017 feat of winning a national championship, he was competitive in almost every event. He reached the quarter final of the Irish Close and finished in the top eight on the Bridgestone Order of Merit. He retained his place on the Irish team for the Home Internationals, a team that narrowly lost out to England. O’Keeffe has risen up the international rankings also, he started the year at 752 on WAGR, but he Continue reading
Although the competitive golf season is well and truly over, James Sugrue was back in the news last week when he picked up an award. He was one of two recipients for golf at Mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy’s Co Council reception last week. Although Sugrue didn’t hit the high of a championship win, he continued to progress with two local wins and some great individual performances during the year. The season was book-ended by his two wins, the first in the Fota Island Senior Scratch Cup in early April, and the second in September when he won the John Whyte Fermoy Senior Scratch Cup to close out the season. The two wins may be highlights, but to be fair the Mallow golfer has had a very impressive summer of golf which was recognised with his selection to the Irish team. Sugrue joined the Irish Mens panel this year and represented the Irish selection at the South African and Spanish Amateurs in the early season, and in October he travelled to South America for two international events. His full cap finally came when he was selected to play for the Home Internationals which took place last week. Capped on multiple occasions in Boy’s golf, this was a big step up for Sugrue but one he took in his stride.
The easy going 20 year old went on to win four matches as Ireland finished as runners-up in the four team tournament. “There was actually no real difference, I didn’t feel as if I was under any extra pressure. I know all the lads and I know Neil Manchip for a long time as well” said James. “I was really happy with the way I played down the stretch in a few matches. In the opening foursomes we were two up with three to play and I hit an approach to around six inches to close out the match. On the second day I had a four iron on a par three into the wind, and I managed to get it to inside a foot to close out that match.” You can feel the confidence in Sugrue as he tells that story. Continue reading
Sean Reddy is one of Cork’s emerging young golfers who continues to work on his game and improve, and the 2018 season was an important one for the 11 year golf nut. Having started playing golf many years ago, Sean joined Douglas Golf Club at the start of the season and quickly became a regular on the course. The young golfer rounded off his season when he got his hands on some important silverware last month, he won the Minor Matchplay Cup in Douglas in September. Any the way he won was pretty impressive. Playing in a matchplay competition, he won the 18th with a birdie to force the match onto the 19th hole. And on the testing par four he won the match with a par. Sean was a busy boy all Summer, playing competitions and practicing. Like most young golfers, the summer holidays meant more time on the course and he put himself to good use picking up the club almost every day. “All summer I played most days in Douglas and then other days I practiced in the Academy in Fota Island” said Sean, “I was usually playing or practicing everyday. I got to play Hollywood in Belfast, Rory Milroy’s home course, it was incredible to play there. My favourite also was the K Club, last time I was there on a Sunday was to watch Rory win the Irish Open in 2016.” Unlike many other golfers of his age, Sean doesn’t just practice for fun, he does it to improve. And he spent the summer working on a few important areas. I worked on my swing path and alignment mostly, trying to keep my swing consistent on every shot” explained Reddy, “I know my swing speed and distance will come as I get older, I am not 12 until next year and I want my swing to be perfect now so when I am older it hopefully will be always be consistent as I swing faster. I worked on many speed and strength drills with Peter for most of the summer.” Now playing off an official GUI handicap, Sean has seen this tumble as he played in Douglas over the Summer. He dropped ten shots and he’s now playing off 14 – a very impressive mark for an eleven year old. “In February had a handicap of 24” explained Sean, “I am now down to 14 since Continue reading
Following Ireland on the Montgomerie Course: Continue reading
James Sugrue and Peter O’Keeffe were both named in the Irish team for the Home Internationals which take place in Wales in less than two weeks. For the first time in well over a decade, Cork will be represented by two golfers in an Irish Mens team. After missing out on selection for the European Team Championships in July, Sugrue finally gets his first senior international cap after coming close earlier this year. The Mallow man earned several caps at boys level and after a three year gap, he’ll be back in Irish colours in Conwy, Wales. Ireland won an unprecedented fourth title in a row last year, and this year they’ll be hoping to retain the title.
Both Sugrue and O’Keeffe have been on form Continue reading
The winning Munster team pictured with Team Captain Michael Coote receiving the trophy from John Moloughney, President GUI, picture Fran Caffrey, Golffile.
There was a dramatic finish to the Interprovincial Championship this afternoon, with Geoff Lenehan again sealing a win for Munster. The Waterville member won the crucial point in 2012 and 2014, and he was at the centre of the action again in Athenry, winning his singles match to give Munster the win against Leinster and the title.
Munster went into day three with a narrow lead, all four teams had one win each, with Munster ranked first on the basis of matches won. The meant that a win for Munster should have been enough to seal the title. The foursomes didn’t quite go to plan, with Munster trailing 3-1 at lunchtime. The only win came from O’Keeffe and Lenehan. Munster came out firing in the singles though, with Peter O’Keeffe and James Sugrue claiming the first points. Munster needed five of the seven points to claim the title and with two in the bag the odds favoured the men in blue. Eanna Griffin brought in a third point and while Andrew McCormack lost, John Hickey won to make it 4-1 with two matches on the course. Both playing the final Continue reading