MALLOW teenager James Sugrue has been honoured as the top Junior Golfer in Munster.
At 15 years of age there is little doubt that Sugrue has his best golfing years ahead of him. That being said it is unlikely that the Mallow native will forget 2012 regardless of what he goes on to achieve. This year saw the talented youngster win the Connacht Under-18 crown in Gort, the Munster Under-16 title in Muskerry as well as represent his province and country at Under-18 level.
Sugrue's talent is undeniable. Having only taken up the game five years ago, James has proved himself to be more than a match for the best of his peers and very capable of taking on and beating players much older than himself. James' talent has not gone unnoticed as both his home club (Mallow), the Munster GUI and the national setup have all been involved in making sure that the rising star reaches his full potential.
Recognition of the talents possessed by the north Cork lad have been growing over the past 18 months with his regular inclusion in the Munster and Irish setups. James was selected to join the elite coaching program in Mount Juliet Golf club and has been supported by both the Munster GUI coaching program as well as Mallow's own internal juvenile training.
One of the highlights of the year for James was being invited to be part of the Darren Clarke Golf School at Portmarnock Golf Club on the weekend of November 9-11. There he had the pleasure of teeing off with the British Open winner himself and impressed all involved in the prestigious event including Mr Clarke himself. As if all that wasn't enough, James is at present the lowest handicapped player for his age in Ireland (scratch).
So it is no wonder that the Munster Branch of the GUI decided to honour James at their AGM which was held in the Hibernian Hotel Mallow, last Tuesday night. At the event, which saw delegates come from all of the 90 GUI affiliated clubs in the province, James was awarded the title of top Junior Gofer for 2012. A title well deserved considering his achievements this year.
Before he received the award James spoke to The
Corkman about his what the award means to him.
"It's great to be given any award at any time, it's even better when it is the governing body of the sport you love that feels you deserve it. I really appreciate all that my club and the Munster GUI have done for me in the past and hopefully will continue to do for me into the future.
"This award is great for me and my family. My parents Michael and Margaret have done so much to help me during my life so far, so this award is really recognition of their efforts."
James' future in golf is limitless. He is already highly regarded on the provincial, national and even European stage and he is already a scratch golfer. For most mere mortals that would be more than enough, but as he approaches his 16th birthday in mid January there is the distinct possibility that we just may be watching something really special unfolding.