Six teams competed in the event, the three top universities in Ireland – NUI Maynooth, UCD and University of Ulster – and three universities from the US – University of Notre-Dame, University of North Carolina Wilmington and University of Texas A&M.
Maynooth won the competition by 12 strokes from Texas A&M with UNC Wilmington 16 strokes back in third place.
Maynooth Golf Team Manager Barry Fennelly was proud of his team’s display “I am delighted with our win, especially against top American colleges such as Texas A&M.”
The event had significance from an American perspective as it counted as an official event under NCAA rules. Texas A&M came over to Kerry with a big reputation as a top 20 American college in the golf rankings.
However, experience of playing on links courses gave NUI Maynooth an advantage. They led by nine strokes going into the final day and eased to the win despite a good fightback by Texas A&M.
This was largely helped by the performance of James Sugrue. The Mallow native shot a final round 73 to capture the individual title by three strokes from team mate Eugene Smith.
Sugrue gained significant ground on Friday with a level par 72 in tough, playing conditions. His score was five strokes better than the next best player and ten strokes better than the average score on a day of miserable weather.
“He is a great ball-striker and he has developed a talent for control his ball in poor conditions” Fennelly said. Sugrue’s win in the Jerry Murphy/Notre Dame Invitational adds to an already impressive resume which has seen him win the Connacht Boys Open and represent Ireland at u18 level.
The event was organised by the University of Notre-Dame. Jerry Murphy was a former part-owner of Waterville Golf Club and alum of the university.
“We hope that the invitational can become an annual event with Irish teams competing against US teams on Irish links courses.” Fennelly said.