Golf | James Sugrue leads Irish chase at Galgorm

Sugrue finished the day three-under-par

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It doesn’t seem feasible that James Sugrue will remain an amateur golfer for much longer. It may not have been a jaw-dropping opening day for the Irish contingent in Galgorm, but Sugrue was the shining light.

The Cork golfer shot a three-under-par 67, to tie him in fifth place, as part of a chasing pack that includes Rikard Karlberg and John Catlin.

Sugrue went under the radar somewhat in the lead up, as all focus lay at the door of 2009 winner Shane Lowry. Sugrue received a late invitation to the tournament but proved his worth, playing a fine round on a tight course that was more difficult than some may have anticipated in the build-up.

Speaking after the first days play, Sugrue spoke about the challenges that he met, but ultimately how he was content with his days work.

“It was very tough, very penal. You can hit good shots off the tee and end up in the rough where you can only take a wedge out of it.

“But it was brilliant, I was delighted to be there I probably almost felt last week like I was another number, but I said this week I need to forget that attitude and come out and play golf and enjoy it and get around in as few shots as possible.

“The European Tour put up a lovely video last night of Shane’s win. It was brilliant, I was just talking to my caddie about it when we were heading back in the car, it was some achievement to win the Irish Open as an amateur, it was some scenes on the final green.

“There’s a lot of golf to be played yet but obviously I’m very happy with how I played today.

“Conditions were tricky although we didn’t get wet, it was gusty and when you’re caught in those holes where there’s trees all around you, you don’t know what way the wind is blowing. You just have to trust it.

“But I was happy with my round today. It’s hard to plan anything now at the moment but I hope to turn pro after the Masters.”

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