On 22 June, James Sugrue became only the eighth Irish winner in the 134-year history of the Amateur Championship.

A one-hole victory over Euan Walker at Portmarnock capped a fairytale week for the Mallow golfer, made even sweeter with automatic qualification for this week's Open at Royal Portrush, the Masters next April and the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot.

As he prepares for the challenge of playing the world's oldest major, Sugrue is still coming to terms with what he achieved a month ago 

Speaking to RTÉ Sport's Greg Allen, he said: "It's surreal really to be quite honest. There I was on television playing at Portmarnock and winning the trophy.

"When people say to you 'best of luck in the Masters', well that's just mind blowing. It has sunk in but It's still hard to believe."    

All thoughts of turning pro at the end of this year have been put on hold, with Sugrue relishing the chance to play with the biggest names in the sport.

Reflecting on his opening practice round at Royal Portush, the 22-year-old added: "It’s been crazy, even small little things like coming into the players’ lounge. In the locker room I’m in the champions corner next to Ernie Els. Tiger’s locker is just behind mine. It’s wild to be fair.

"I’m definitely not here to make up the numbers, but I’m going to enjoy it and see where that takes me."

Sugrue will also be in the first group out for the 148th Open alongside American Charley Hoffman and the 2011 winner.

"I was on the seventh hole when a guy from my club called me over and said that I was out at 6.35am with Darren Clarke.

"It’s unreal, I played with Darren once before at Portmarnock. He’s an unbelievable player, one of the best ball strikers out there.

"I just can’t wait to get going."

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