Mallow’s James Sugrue achieved the ambition of a lifetime at Portmarnock today when he won the British Amateur Championship and with it, an appearance in next month’s British Open at Royal Portrush followed by next year’s US Masters and Open.
The 22-year-old displayed nerves of steel in withstanding a magnificent fight back by his Scottish opponent Euan Walker (Kilmarnock Barassie) to emerge winner by two holes of the 36-hole contest.
A huge crowd followed the final, many having travelled from Mallow to see history made, and Sugrue was swallowed up by hundreds of overjoyed fans when his victory was confirmed on the final green.
It looked all over an eighth Irish success in the Championship when Sugrue jumped into a five-hole lead after nine holes of this morning’s first-18 but Walker stuck to his task and was back to three down when they stopped for lunch.
Sugrue again appeared to have taken command with a magnificent birdie at the 1st on resumption but Walker had five birdies between then and 15th to draw level with three to play.
Sugrue, however, refused to be rattled. He won the 17th with a fine par to regain the lead forcing Walker to concede hole and match when he found trouble at the 36th hole of a superb contest.