Sugrue’s 15-Month U.S. Open Wait Is Over.

It’s fair to say no one has given up more this year in terms of missing tournaments than reigning British Amateur champ, James Sugrue.

The 23-year old Mallow golfer has waited 15 months for his opportunity to tee-up later today (THUR) in the U.S. Open at Winged Foot.

Sugrue qualified for the 120th hosting of the U.S. Open championship winning last year’s British Amateur at Portmarnock.

Victory earned him a place a few weeks later in last year’s Open Championship along with a tee-time in this year’s Masters and this week’s U.S. Open.

Sugrue also was afforded invitations to compete in the Georgia Cup, held in Atlanta the week before the Masters, and where he was due to go head-to-head with the then reigning U.S. Amateur champ, but then the event was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ireland’s James Sugrue and winner of the 2019 British Amateur at Portmarnoch

Sugrue also had to turn down traveling to the States for a ‘start’ the rescheduled Jack Nicklaus hosted Memorial in Dublin, Ohio.

It has meant his decision to turn pro after the then initial June scheduling of the U.S. Open will probably now be after competing in November’s rescheduled Masters.

And after a practice round each day, and out on his lonesome, on Winged Foot, the Irishman is excited in teeing-up.

“It’s very good in terms of the design and the layout of it, it’s brilliant,” said Sugrue.

“There’s no easy hole – the par-3’s are long, the par-5’s are long, the par-4’s are long, the rough is long, the greens are fast and slopey. Everything you could imagine to be tough about a golf course, it has.

“As daunting as I’m making it out to be, I’m still looking forward to it – I can’t wait.

“I think if I play well, it will kind of suit me, especially playing Irish golf all my life on not the easiest courses or set-ups, you know. But it will be important to be patient.

“I’m just going out there to enjoy myself and I’ve enjoyed myself so far. I play my best when I do enjoy myself and I know it’s hard to enjoy yourself if you’re not playing well but if the worst case scenario is I miss the cut, I’m still over here playing the US Open so it’s not the end of the world.”

And what does he think playing alongside two-time Masters winning Bubba Watson and the 44-time winning, Lee Westwood for the opening two rounds?

“It’s very cool – obviously two legends, two very well-known names. It’s great,” he said.

“I’m just looking forward to seeing Bubba hit it and obviously Lee Westwood is one of the greatest players of all time to not win a Major.

“This place will probably suit him as well, drives it pretty straight – and that’s what it will come down to – I can’t get the importance of hitting the fairways through enough. Whoever wins this week will probably have hit the most fairways.”

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