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

Early start to the season for Cork golfers

Fota Island’s John Doyle receiving the Munster U14 Order of Merit medal from Jim Long, also included is John’s Dad Barry.

It might still be the off-season for golf in Ireland but there are a few Cork golfers have already started their 2022 campaigns.  John Murphy competed in his fourth tournament of the new season in South Africa last week.  Murphy has had a busy start to the year, after a few weeks of preseason work in Spain he travelled to California for the AT&T ProAm in Pebble Beach.  Unfortunately for John he missed the cut but it was a big learning experience for him as he teed it up alongside the stars of the PGA Tour.  From there it was a sprint across the Atlantic to South Africa for the start of the Challenge Tour.  He finished just inside the top fifty in his opening event three weeks ago, and after missing the cut in the second event he went on to secure a top twenty finish in Durban last week.  Murphy has picked up close to €5,000 in prize money this season and he’ll be hoping for another good finish this week.

Murphy clocked up over €120,000 in his thirteen tour events last year after turning professional in June.  It was a sprint for the Kinsale man over the course of five months.  He played in nine different countries on three separate tours, but most importantly he finished inside the top 70 and Continue reading

Tour Life for Sugrue

James Sugrue 

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

Sugrue sets his sights on Sweden

James Sugrue

“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.

“I’m delighted with the Swedish events, it’s great to Continue reading

Sugrue drives into professional ranks

James Sugrue picking up his new Hyundai Tuscon from Finbarr Noonan, Kearys Hyundai Mallow.

James Sugrue finally left the amateur golf ranks last week, and first out of the block to support him were Kearys of Mallow who provided the golfer with a new Hyundai Tucson.  His appointment as brand ambassador for the local business was his first commercial deal, and hopefully many more will follow as the 24 year old sets out to earn a living in the world of tour golf.  Sugrue confirmed that he had signed with Swedish management firm Sportyard, and while his first appearance on tour is a few weeks away, he was delighted to get on board with Kearys.  “I am delighted to become Brand Ambassador for Kearys Hyundai Mallow and very much look forward to driving the all-new Hyundai Tucson.  As well as its exceptional design, there’s plenty of room for the clubs in the boot!” said an excited Sugrue.  As an amateur Sugrue was prevented from any sponsorship or endorsement deals, but once he made the Continue reading

Sugrue No 1 in Europe

James Sugrue

James Sugrue starts 2021 on top of the European amateur rankings, the Mallow man was confirmed as the leading amateur on the European Golf Association rankings.  In addition to the EGA ranking, Sugrue also reached a high point of 5th on the World Amateur Golf Rankings last week.  While it’s unclear if Sugrue will tee it up in any further amateur competitions, his standing as an elite amateur is something to remember as he turns towards a career as a tour professional.

Having made the decision to compete on the professional circuit in 2021, Sugrue will have lots to look back on in his amateur career.  He was a solid performer in team golf, representing Mallow, Munster and Ireland from 2012 when Continue reading

Sugrue’s Masters Memories

Although his Masters adventure is over James Sugrue will have plenty of memories.  An impressive  second round of 71 got him into the red for the day.  Unfortunately he’ll miss the cut for the weekend but today’s round will take away the bitter taste from his disappointing opening round.

A handful of birdies, six in all, were among the highlights today.  A few impressive drives and a few good recoveries were also part or the round, and a ball in the water on the famous 12th will also form part of the memories of an incredible week in Augusta.  It was a busy day for James, he was back on the course early to complete his final nine holes from the first round following a rain delay yesterday.

James Sugrue (Mallow) 
Picture: Niall O’Shea

Sugrue’s second round was much better.  He was two under for the day after just three holes thanks to birdies on the second and third.  In a really strong mental display, Sugrue put aside the first round and he went out in two under par for his front nine.  After parring the 10th and 11th, he put a ball in the water at the signature 12th hole.  Although he had a good chip onto the green, a missed putt meant he recorded a double bogey five in the heart of Amen Corner.  But again he bounced back with a birdie on the par five 13th, a great drive over the trees gave him a great line for his approach.  But his second shot didn’t go to plan with the ball landing on the bank of the greenside creek.  Sugrue played a deft chip from the bank and slotted the birdie putt.

Another highlight came when his tee shot on the 16th landed within 5 feet of the pin.  The Mallow man again slotted the birdie putt.  A par brought his round to an end at the famous 18th, signing for a one under par 71, and 148 for the tournament.

For the record, Sugrue finished on +4 after rounds of 77 and 71.  He had eight birdies over the two days and plenty of memories from his first Masters start.  He’ll count the night in the Crow’s Nest, speaking at the Tournament Dinner and the drive down Magnolia Lane among the memories away from the course.  The next step for James , although tournament schedules and opportunities to play will determine when the Mallow man make the next move in his golfing career.

Michael Collins Augusta Preview

Michael Collins pictured at his base in Mallow Golf Range in Copstown.
Picture: Niall O’Shea

It’s a long way from Mallow to Augusta, but that’s the trip that James Sugrue and his coach Michael Collins had to undertake last week on the way to the Masters Tournament.  Travel restrictions meant that Collins was the only person to head off with Sugrue, and the PGA teaching professional was delighted to be alongside his pupil on the journey to golf’s most famous setting.

“Even though I was really looking forward to getting to Augusta, Covid-19 meant that it was hard to relax knowing that we had to negotiate three airports, two flights and 12 hours in the air” explained Collins.  However after arriving on Friday both Collins and Sugrue got the all clear from their Covid-19 tests and they could head for the course with the important trip down Magnolia Lane.

“It was pretty cool driving down Magnolia Lane on Saturday morning, something that I will never forget, or get tired of” said Collins.  “James has a local caddy for the week so we met Jack and played the front nine on Saturday and the back nine on Sunday morning.  As everybody has told me before we came over, you don’t realise how undulating it is until you see it.  The hill on the 10th could nearly be a ski slope.  They have told us that it will play a bit differently to April as they have had to overseed to get it playable in November.”  The weather is making a difference too as Michael continued, “It is playing pretty soft, meaning a lot of long approach shots into slopey, fast greens.  You will have to be very good tee to green this week to be in contention.  The greens take a lot of reading as the grain isn’t obvious but definitely has an influence.  We also have the added element of some weather heading through here due to the tropical storm coming up from Florida.  There is the possibility of weather delays which adds yet another element to the November Masters.”

PGA Professional Michael Collins who has also made the trip to Augusta forthe 2020 Masters Tournament.
Picture Niall O’Shea

Despite the changes in plans and schedules since March, Sugrue has kept his focus on the golf as his coach added: “To say his year has been disrupted is a gross understatement, but he has shown a great attitude and continued to work away, through all the uncertainty around competitions, lockdowns etc., and kept a positive mentality which can’t have been easy.  He has kept working hard at home since the Irish Open and has arrived here in good shape.  Ultimately, he is playing nicely, he has a great temperament and attitude and has a spring in his step after the Cork hurling and especially the footballers results over the weekend.”  The plan is to enjoy the challenge and play well.