Mallow set for Sugrue Classic

James Sugrue 

Mallow Golf Club is getting behind James Sugrue, they are holding a fundraising classic later this month to help the new pro find his feet on tour.  The classic takes place on the 13th & 14th May and already it looks like it will be a sell-out.  The three-person team event will have plenty of prizes on offer including a raffle for some great golf related prizes.

Mallow Captain John Coleman has known James for well over a decade and he’s especially happy to be involved in the classic.  “As a golfer and this year’s Captain of Mallow Golf Club I am 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 – 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.

Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Tuesday

We had a bit of a change of schedule today.  James didn’t hit the course until lunchtime and it was straight to the range.  To be fair he’s hitting it as well as I’ve ever seen him.  He did some Trackman work and after a bit of adjusting he put a new Titleist TSi driver into the bag.  He was absolutely ripping it.  He also has a new 21 degree Titleist TS2 hybrid as the 19 degree was going too far.  I think this is a good sign, the last time he put a new driver in the bag was when we were on the way up to Portmarnock for the Amateur last year and he had a fitting at the GUI Academy in Carton House.

As we weren’t up to much with James this morning, Mike Collins and myself went to the course to go Tiger hunting!  We met him on the 16th,  he was playing with Justin Thomas so it was great to see the two of them hitting a few shots.  After Tiger finished I ended up saying a quick hello to his caddie Joe LaCava and I ended up getting one of the Bridgestone Tiger balls he had used.  I reckon I’ll never get another chance to do that so I’m glad I took the opportunity.

I also had a chance to talk to Harry Diamond who’s on the bag for Rory McIlroy.  He’s a really nice guy and we were chatting about golf back home as well as the course and the draw.  There’s seems to be plenty of talk about the course from a lot of players and caddies.  There’s been a lot on Twitter about the rough and the media are picking up on it, there has been a few videos too on the greens and some of the slopes.  A lot of players are giving out, but they’ll know where  they have to put it on Thursday, and how to plot their way around the course.

Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Tuesday

James seems to be happy enough about the draw, and I’m really looking forward to watching Bubba play golf.  The bag is ready now, we’re using James’ Irish carry bag so its nice and light and easy to drag around.  The only thing James really looks for during a round is water so I’ll make sure that I’ve plenty of that.  He’s pretty laid back when on the course so the only other thing I have to do is get the yardages right!  Thursday is getting closer now so the plan for tomorrow will be to focus the practice on the short game and play the back nine in the evening.

Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Monday

Another early start yesterday, we were first out on the course at 7.01.  We played nine holes and then hit the range for an hour or so.  The place is getting a lot busier now and practice rounds for the full 18 holes look like they are taking up to six hours which is mad.  It’s not the rough that causing the long rounds, it’s the slopes and the undulations on the greens.  The greens are running pretty fast now and everyone is trying to work out the angles, the slopes and the backstops.

After lunch myself and Mike went out to the back nine.  We had a good walk around and took plenty of notes.  The yardage book is fine but it doesn’t help in term of lines off the tee or slopes so we’ll have all that planned out by Thursday.  We still don’t know when we’re out in the first round.  The draw should be out in the morning, I think it might have been delayed due to the changes to the start list.


I think the week is going to be all about driving and putting.  The fairways are narrow, very narrow in places so James has been spending most of his time on the range working on his driving.  He’ll probably start working on his short game today and Wednesday.  It’s all aimed towards sharpening up, and his game should be in nice shape for Thursday.

Off the course very little is happening, there are very few people around and none of our friends and family from Mallow.  We’re in the bubble that the US sports have spoken about so it’s literally moving from the hotel to course, and from the course to the hotel.  The weather is nice, it’s around 23/24 degrees at the moment so it’s really nice.  It should be around the same on Thursday and Friday with a bit of cloud so that should suit us perfectly.

Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Sunday

The rough is still the talking point for many people, we took the video below on the right of the 11th when walking the course.  That’s it for Monday, we’re heading down for a bite to eat now and we’re planning another early start in the morning.


Conor Dowling’s US Open Report – Sunday

After nearly a week out here we finally got to Winged Foot.  On Saturday evening we went over to register and have a look around and this morning we played the full 18.  We went out at 8.15, first on the course!  We played the full 18, it’s very long and the rough is crazy – thick and long.  The greens are a bit soft at the moment but I’d say they’ll firm up as the week goes on.  After the course we headed to the range for another 90 minutes, and James was hitting it very well.  Although the past week has been very enjoyable, it was great to finally get onto the course at Winged Foot.

The week has flown by since we arrived on Monday.  Earlier in the week we met up with Stephen Walsh from Portmarnock.  He had been in touch before we came out to see if we wanted to play a few courses.  We were a bit limited as we were following all of the Covid guidelines but we did get to play Garden City Golf Club in Esssex County with Stephen.  It’s a great course and we really did enjoy ourselves.  We all played well too so that helps.  Michael Collins joined us late last week so the three of us are here now.  It’s a bit disappointing that nobody could travel over to see the event but I suppose we’re lucky to be here.

We’re all set now for the week.  We had our first Covid test last Monday when we arrived and another one yesterday.  We got the all clear so it’s all eyes on the tournament, and we’re back out for another practice round tomorrow.



Masters Date for Sugrue

James Sugrue pictured at home in Mallow with his invitation to the 2020 Masters Tournament.

James Sugrue is heading stateside in April, his Augusta dreams came a step closer this week when he received his official invitation to the 2020 Masters Tournament.  The Mallow man had been scheduled to receive an invitation to the famous tournament after winning the Amateur Championship last June, and the official invitation finally arrived this week.  “It was unreal to finally get it” said Sugrue.  “I thought it was coming in the last week of December so I’ve been waiting for a while!”  Although the invite was never in doubt, it was an exciting wait for the Sugrue family to finally get confirmation of James’ place in the field.  An invitation to the Masters Tournament is traditionally given to the winner of the four major amateur competitions, (US, British, Asia-Pac, Latin America) provided they remain amateur.  The amateur status means that Sugrue is not eligible for any of the prize money on offer, but a good performance in April will give his status a huge boost as he considers moving to the paid Continue reading

Mallow Scratch Cup Launch

Mallow SSC Launch 2019

Tournament organiser Conor Dowling and Amateur Champion James Sugrue at the launch of the Mallow Senior Scratch Cup. The event takes place in Mallow Golf Club on Sun 25th Aug. 

Mallow Golf Club have just announced details of their Senior Scratch Cup, the first time the competition will be held since 2012.  The 36 hole event will take place on Sunday 25th August, and uniquely it will feature a redraw at the end of round one to pair the leading players for the second round.  Already many of the top golfers in Cork and Munster have committed to the event which is limited to 72 golfers.  It’s another chance for Cork’s top golfers to claim some silverware as the opportunities to claim a scratch cup win are narrowing.  The season started with the Muskerry Senior Scratch Cup back in April.  That event was won by Peter O’Keeffe in a strong field of entrants, and the signs are that there will be another strong field in place in Mallow.  The organising team of Conor Dowling, Brian Attridge, Neil Gallagher and Sean O’Shea have a great prize fund in place, thanks in part to the sponsorship from Hegarty Building and Civil Engineering.  Fist prize is the maximum €575 with second taking €325 and a generous €250 for third place.  There are also nett categories and prizes for Continue reading

Major Sugrue, The Amateur Champion!

2019 The Amateur Open Championship at Portmarnock Golf Club

James Sugrue (Mallow) winner of the 2019 The Amateur Championship at Portmarnock Golf Club today (22/06/2019). Picture by Pat Cashman

Portrush, Augusta, and New York will all be on James Sugrue’s agenda over the next 12 months.  That’s part of his reward for winning the famous Amateur Championship in Portmarnock.  The 22 year old Mallow man created a piece history, becoming only the second Cork golfer to win the most famous prize in amateur golf.  As the winner he’ll play in the Open Championship in Portrush next month, he’ll play in the US Open in Winged Foot New Jersey next year, and the established tradition is that the Amateur Championship winner always receives an invitation to the Masters.  Watched by his parents Margaret and Mick, and sister Michelle and brother Edward, and hundreds of supporters and friends from Mallow, James calmly rolled Continue reading