THERE was great excitement in Mallow as James Sugrue was formally announced as a Walker Cup player.
The Malow GC member becomes just the fourth Cork golfer to represent GB&I in the prestigious amateur event. Sugrue follows in the footsteps of Jimmy Bruen, John McHenry and Eoghan O’Connell, the only other Corkmen to reach that level.
Tradition dictates that the Amateur Champion is an automatic pick for the team and the Mallow man was delighted when the team as announced, confirming his inclusion for the matches in Royal Liverpool.
“I’m just really looking forward to it to be honest. It’s the pinnacle for amateur golf and I’m delighted to be part of the GB&I team,” said Sugrue.
“I used to watch videos of Andy Sullivan playing Walker Cup when I was younger so I can’t wait to get started and hopefully beat the Americans.”
The 21-year-old was one of three Irish golfers named on the 10-man team, Caolan Rafferty from Dundalk and Portmarnock’s Conor Purcell were also selected.
Although the announcement was expected, there was great excitement in Mallow yesterday. Sugrue was named in the extended panel back in April and he has had the benefit of a number of practice sessions at the Open Championship venue. He’s excited about the event and fancies their chances.
“The course is in lovely condition and I can’t wait for the event,” said Sugrue yesterday.
“Obviously I think we have a little bit of an advantage on the Americans, we all play links course and we’ve all been here two or three times.
"We play links courses regularly and it’ll be a new experience for them. Hopefully, the weather will blow a bit, some traditional English links weather would suit fine.”
With Sugrue’s inclusion virtually guaranteed since early July, Mallow Golf Club members and friends have been busy making travel plans, and huge number of supporters from North Cork are expected in Royal Liverpool for the event on September 7-8.