JAMES Sugrue made a great start to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open today with a three-under-par round of 67 that saw him just two shots off the clubhouse lead.
While the first round play continued this afternoon, Sugrue was safely in the clubhouse, and importantly inside to top 10.
As the broadcast coverage commenced this afternoon, supporters from Cork were delighted to see Sugrue’s name on the first page of the leaderboard. The Mallow man had a 9.35am tee-time this morning and conditions were good in Galgorm Resort. Sugrue completed his first nine holes in level par.
It was a steady start for the 24-year-old, after three opening pars he birdied the fourth to get into red but a bogey on the eighth saw his return to level par. More birdies followed on the 10th, 11th, 15th and the closing par-five 18th. Just one bogey on the 12th saw him finish on three-under.
By contrast with this professional playing partners, Sugrue was the form player in his three-ball. 2015 winner Soren Kjeldsen was five over after nine and finished on +6 while Laurie Canter finished on +3. South African Dean Burmester set the early lead on -5 after his early morning start.
It was a quick turnaround for the Corkman who played in the US Open in Winged Foot last week. An invitation to this event landed in his inbox on Friday evening after his playing Lee Westwood expressed surprise that the 2019 Amateur champion was not scheduled to play in the Irish Open.
Conor Dowling who caddied for Sugrue last week has again accompanied James to Ballymena, the pair travelled directly to Northern Ireland after the US Open.
Because the event is behind closed doors it means that family and friends from Mallow were unable to travel to Galgorm to support Sugrue. All will be watching closely tomorrow as he aims to make the cut for the weekend in his fourth European Tour event.
Sugrue has a later tee time tomorrow. He won’t be off until 1.10pm and with live coverage on RTÉ and Sky Sports, plenty will be willing him on and hoping to see plenty of him in the afternoon coverage.