JAMES Sugrue finally got his Masters underway on Thursday evening, at 8.16pm Irish time, he hit his opening shot from the 10th tee, facing into the world-famous Amen Corner in his opening four holes.
Although he said he was relaxed earlier in the day, you can be sure he felt some nerves as the tee time approached.
You’d never have known it though with his opening shot. He took a tight line down the left-hand side, and when his ball stopped in the middle of the fairway, it was 311 yards from the tee box.
It was the start that everyone from Mallow would have hoped for, and while the shot didn’t make the live TV feed, the Masters website gave shot-by-shot update for the large number of fans from north Cork and further afield.
Sugrue would bogey that hole, and while he bogied the 11th, it was a good result considering his second shot trickled down into the greenside water hazard. He got back on track with a good par on the signature 12th, and followed that with two more pars. He birdied the 15th after narrowly missing an eagle putt.
As it happened Sugrue faced another delay on an opening day. Not only did he have to wait after the original April date was postponed, but he also had to endure a three-hour weather delay.
With his 3.11pm tee-off time Stateside, and sunset in Augusta at 5.27pm, Sugrue won’t get to finish his opening round, meaning he’ll have to complete round one on Friday while facing a quick turnaround for an early tee time for round two. With the top 50 golfers set to make the cut, Sugrue only needs to find a few shots to book a slot for the weekend.
Travel restrictions mean that the only person to travel with Sugrue was his coach Michael Collins. The PGA Teaching Professional from Mallow Driving Range was delighted with the way that Sugrue settle into the settings of the most famous golf course in the world.
While the fairways and greens were on the soft side early in the week, all the expectations were that the course would firm up as the tournament began.
Regardless of the conditions, all of Cork and Ireland will be will the 23-year-old on tomorrow as he hopes to book a place for the weekend.