Newly crowned Amateur Champion James Sugrue was on Thursday’s OTB AM as he spoke about his victory at the Portmarnock Golf Club.
He will now play at next month’s British Open at Portrush, next year’s US Masters at Augusta and next year’s US Open at Winged Foot. Sugrue said he tried his best to not think about those potential big days.
“The only time I did think about it was probably the night before the final when I was lying in bed. I was just like ‘Jesus if I have a good day tomorrow I’ll be teeing it up at Augusta next year.’ I was just trying to keep that out of my mind, to be honest.
“It was hard obviously to not think about it when you’re lying in bed but while I was actually playing I wasn’t thinking about it, to be honest,” Sugrue said.
Sugrue received massive support from his hometown club in Mallow at the Dublin course, as well as huge support from the locals.
“There were so many of them, there were a few numbers being thrown around, I don’t know about three or four thousand watching so there was a huge number of people out there watching. 99% of them were following me and especially there was this one elderly man, his name is Eric O’Brien.
“He followed me for two practice days and he followed me for every single day. He followed me for every single hole. I don’t want to say what age he is but he was old enough you know. I just thought it was unreal. I’ve never met the man before in my life and he followed me for every single day.
“I just thought it was very nice of him. It was unbelievable. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was there [at the British Open in Portrush] after the week because he really was very good to be fair to him,” Sugrue said.
When Sugrue got back to Mallow in County Cork a huge number of people again turned out to celebrate his victory. He arrived back in the town at about midnight, at which time the local pub was still packed to the rafters.
“Ah, there was no drink being served. We were all drinking MiWadi yeah,” he laughed.
“It was unbelievable. It was unbelievable that there was a fierce crowd there and a fierce crowd travelled up as well,” Sugrue said.