Mallow’s James Sugrue savoured success on home soil to win The 124th Amateur Championship at Portmarnock Golf Links on the outskirts of Dublin this evening.
The Irishman thrilled around 3,000 spectators at the renowned course to defeat Scotland’s Euan Walker in an exciting 36-hole final. Sugrue was five up after nine holes but was forced to survive Walker’s sterling comeback to all square before clinching a one-hole win on the final green.
Played in glorious weather, Sugrue’s fast start and sharp short game skills proved key as the Mallow member became the first Irish player to win the famous title since Alan Dunbar in 2012.
By virtue of his triumph, the 22-year-old gained exemptions into The 148th Open at Royal Portrush next month, the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot and, by tradition, an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament.
On playing in The 148th Open at Royal Portrush, 22 year-old Sugrue said: “I can’t wait. It’s unreal. I’m really looking forward to it. I love Royal Portrush, it’s probably one of my favourite links courses, second favourite to Portmarnock. With the other major championship opportunities, it’s incredible to think about it and I’m really looking forward to what lies ahead.”
Sugrue is the eighth Irish winner of The British Amateur and joins a list of past champions that include major winners José María Olazábal, Sergio Garcia and, more recently, Matteo Manassero and Romain Langasque.