James Sugrue’s hopes of completing a US Open-Irish Open double next week could be in doubt after the 2019 Amateur winner revealed he has not received an invitation to his national Open next week.
The Mallow golfer bowed out of the second major of the year at Winged Foot on Friday in New York having earned an exemption to the US Open with his momentous Amateur victory at Portmarnock 15 months ago.
That win in the oldest amateur ‘major’ also got him into last summer’s Open Championship while Sugrue also has an invitation to this year’s Masters in November.
Yet a place in the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open field at Galgorm, Co Antrim, next week remained off the table on Friday night as Sugrue looked back on his nine-over par second round at Winged Foot which saw him miss the midway cut.
The Corkman had played alongside Bubba Watson and Lee Westwood, the European Tour veteran who suggested an Irish Open invitation should have been in the possession of the Irish international.
Asked if he would play at Galgorm next week, Sugrue replied: “Yeah, definitely. I've never played. Last year it was at Lahinch, which would be pretty close to my house and one of my favorite courses, and I couldn't play because, A, I think it was a Rolex event last year, and also because we had European Team championships, so I couldn't play.
“So, yeah, I would love to - it would be great to get a start in the Irish Open. That would be brilliant. I would definitely take up on that offer if it was possible.”
Sugrue, 24, said he had not spoken to Irish Open officials and asked if he was surprised by that, answered: “Yeah, a little bit. I thought that I had done enough to warrant an invitation. Obviously, it's not my decision. I don't know whose decision it is or who hands out invitations, but, yeah, I wouldn't dwell on it too much.
“If I'm in, I'm in. If I'm not, I'm not. It's not the end of the world. It would be a pretty quick turnaround coming home from here. I'm not too sure what the story is with me coming home and quarantine and stuff like that.
"It's in the North of Ireland this year, so they have different rules, the Republic, so it's all a little bit messy. If the opportunity came up, I'd definitely play.”
Sugrue had narrowly missed the cut at Portrush last year in his major championship debut but was not in his game at Winged Foot, his nine-over second-round 79 featuring two triple bogeys in his first three holes although he did at least engineer three birdies.
“I suppose I was pretty pleased to make a few (birdies). Yeah, it was just, even from the word go on the first hole, I hit it left, drew a horrendous lie. Thought I did well to hack it out of that lie into probably a worse lie, and then went long off the green, and that's just dead and just started with a triple just like that.
“It's kind of bizarre because I didn't lose a ball the last two days and I shot what I shot, which is kind of mad. I think it's just tough.
“I wasn't playing my best, didn't know where the ball was going off the tee, and just can't do that around here.”