Sugrue denied chance to defend Amateur Championship

Sugrue denied chance to defend Amateur Championship

James Sugrue’s chance of defending his Amateur Championship title later this month has are in serious doubt following the GUI’s recommendation that players from the Republic Of Ireland withdraw from overseas events, including in Great Britain.

The Golfing Union of Ireland’s announcement on Thursday follows Tuesday’s review by the Irish Government of its Green List for overseas travel under the current Covid-19-related public health conditions. That means non-essential travel to countries not on the list, including Britain, is advised against.

Following consultation with the relevant Government authorities, the GUI said it was therefore recommending that any players from the Republic of Ireland “who have entered the following Championships now withdraw in accordance with this advice:

“Brabazon Trophy, Sherwood Forest (England), August 18-21; The Amateur Championship, Royal Birkdale (England), August 25-30; European Amateur Championship (Individual), Golf du Medoc (France), September 2-5.”

Sugrue, from Mallow,  won the amateur major at Portmarnock last summer. However the Covid-19 pandemic has put on hold many of the spoils of victory, including his exemptions to the postponed Masters and US Opens. Travel restrictions also meant he was unable to travel to the US Amateur next week in Oregon and now the chance to defend his Amateur title appears lost.

Northern Ireland players are free to participate in those events but if they do travel to GB or France the GUI said they must not play golf in the Republic within 14 days of their return to the island of Ireland – irrespective of their point of entry.

The GUI also confirmed it has withdrawn from the following team events: European Young Masters (Aug 27-29, Czech Rep.), European Seniors Team Championship (Sept 1-4, Austria) and European Amateur Team Championship (Sept 9-12, Netherlands).

A decision on participation in the European Boys Team Championship, set for Spain on October 19-22, will be forthcoming shortly, the GUI said.

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