Bruen, James O'Grady (‘Jimmy’) (1920–72), amateur golfer, was born 8 May 1920 in Belfast, only child of James Bruen (d. 1950), bank official and company secretary, and Margaret Bruen (née Shepperson Cooke). The family moved to Blackrock, Cork, when he was very young. Throughout his life he was associated with the golf clubs of Muskerry, from which he received his first handicap, and Cork, where he was a member. However, it was during a family holiday in Co. Donegal, in 1931 that he first played. Educated at Presentation Brothers College, Cork, he was already a leading international amateur as a schoolboy. At 16 he was British boys amateur champion (1936) at Birkdale. This was followed by two hugely successful years. In 1937 he helped Cork to win the Barton Shield and he himself won the Irish Close Championship and was leading amateur in the Irish Open. He repeated these feats in 1938, won the Irish Amateur Open, and achieved Walker Cup selection, obtaining a week's leave from school to take part. He was the youngest player to achieve this honour until Ronan Rafferty's selection (1981). Despite an idiosyncratic swing he was a big hitter of the ball, and his presence was a huge psychological boost to the Walker Cup team in their first victory over the USA. He won the British Amateur Open in 1946, again at Birkdale, played on Walker Cup teams twice more (1949, 1951) and was selected to play for Ireland in the home internationals on four occasions between 1937 and 1950. His record would have been more impressive but for the interruptions caused by the second world war – in 1939 he was considered by many the best amateur in the world – and a serious wrist injury that dogged him from 1947, eventually ending his international career (1951).
He continued to play and occupy administrative positions in golf. He was captain (1943–4, 1946–7) and president (1960–62, 1971–2) of Cork golf club; an Irish selector (1959–62); and a member of the central council of the Golfing Union of Ireland (1960–62). In 1977 the Jimmy Bruen Shield, an inter-club competition for middle handicappers, was inaugurated. He died of a heart attack 3 May 1972 at the Bon Secours Hospital, Cork, leaving an estate of £45,523. An insurance broker, he was founder and managing director of James Bruen and Sons Ltd, Cork. He married (1945) Eleanor Cremin of St Stephen's Green, Dublin. They had three daughters and three sons.