James Sugrue (R&A/Twitter photo)
At the end of a long week at Portmarnock (Ireland) Golf Club, Irishman James Sugrue walked away with the Amateur Championship trophy and all the spoils that go with it. It was a major victory for the home crowd, too, which numbered around 3,000 for the 36-hole final.
Even better, the match went all the way to the final hole before Sugrue won, 1 up, against Euan Walker. The match went off in perfect weather.
Sugrue never trailed Walker, and led by as much as 4-up throughout the day Walker continually battled back, but ultimately ran out of holes.
Walker had pulled himself by to square by No. 15, when Sugrue bogeyed, and both players made birdie at the par-5 16th. Walker bogeyed No. 17, and that spelled his end.
“I was very worried when it went back to all square, very worried,” Sugrue told the R&A. “Euan is just that type of player where he doesn’t really hit bad shots. He has got a beautiful swing and very rarely hits bad shots. I wasn’t expecting to be given holes. Sometimes you can keep plodding away against other players and they will slip up eventually, but Euan not so much. I had to create opportunities myself and thankfully it worked.”
Courtesy of his win, the 22-year-old Sugrue gained exemptions into the Open Championship at Royal Portrush next month, the 2020 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and, by tradition, an invitation to play in the Masters Tournament. Sugrue also becomes the eighth Irishman to win this event.
“It is hard to believe really,” said Sugrue. “It hasn’t sunk in yet. Just to think about this win is unbelievable. Everything that comes with the win and all the crowds that were out there, it’s incredible. I’m just kind of happy I did it for the crowds, really, as I didn’t want all those people who came out to support me to see me end up losing. It’s more relief than anything else really to get over the line, especially after being three up going into the afternoon session. I’m just delighted to do it.”
Information from the R&A used in this report
ABOUT THE British Amateur
This championship, along with the US Amateur
Championship, is considered the most
The first stage of the Championship involves
288 players each of whom plays two rounds of
18 holes, one to be played on each of the two
courses. The 64 lowest scores over the 36
holes and ties for 64th place will compete in
the match play stage of the Championship.
Each match will consist of one round of 18
holes except the Final which will be over 36
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