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Seamus Power is Ireland's Next Big PGA Tour Hope

By: | Mon 17 Jan 2022 | Comments

SEAMUS POWER has been quietly going about his business over the past year or so and his third-place finish behind winner Hideki Matsuyama at the Sony Open saw him break into the top 50 in the world rankings for the first time - quite a feat for a man who was ranked 434th in the world this time last year.

It means that he can look forward to making his debut at The Masters in April. And if he can stay in the top 50 it will also secure his place in the other three majors - the US PGA Championship, US Open and The 150th Open Championship at St Andrews. His performance in Hawaii earned him $442,500, taking his earnings for the season to $1,2m. He also moved up to 14th in the FedEx Cup standings and has racked up enough points to guarantee his place in the top 125 who make August's FedEx Cup Playoffs.

The man from Waterford has enjoyed a stunning 12 months, including his maiden PGA Tour win at the Barbasol Championship in July, which have seen him rocket up the standings. It has been quite a journey and it began with him contracting Covid in April, leaving him fearing for his future as he missed out on vital tournaments. 

But he recovered in sensational style with a brilliant run that saw him enjoy three top-10 finishes and two top 25s in five weeks, before claiming that breakthrough victory in the summer.

He hasn't looked back since then and having started the 2021-22 season with five top 25 finishes in his first seven starts, he continued that run of form at Waialae Country Club near Honolulu when he closed with a second successive, five-under 65 to tie for third with Kevin Kisner on 19-under par.

As a result, he jumps from 63rd to 49th in the latest world golf rankings, leaving him just one spot behind compatriot Shane Lowry and almost certain to make his Masters debut, providing he remains in the top 50 at the end of March.

The move into the world's top 50 is a significant milestone for Power, who believes he is only getting started in his bid to become a multiple PGA Tour winner.

"It's definitely a special moment," Power said as he prepared for the American Express Championship in Palm Springs. "It's a huge milestone, but the plan is for this to be only a passing point for now. It would have been impossible to imagine myself on this path a few years ago because my biggest obstacle was my lack of opportunities to play.”

In his past 21 starts he has recorded one victory, six top-10s and seven top 25s in his last 21 starts.

"Yeah, it's a lot better," he said of his comfort level. "My caddie Simon Keelan and I were actually talking about it during the final round in Hawaii. Georgia in the fall was the first time I played in the last group on a Sunday, so that was kind of cool.

“This time I was in the second to the last group today, so you definitely do get used to it. There were huge crowds behind us following Hideki, so it takes some getting used to. You've kind of got to wait for the crowd to stop and go and that stuff. But, yeah, that's a problem I'll happily learn to deal with."

Power was a late developer. He played college golf at East Tennessee State University, where he won five times, including the Atlantic Sun Conference Championship in 2007 and 2010

He played on mini-tours while attempting to qualify for the Web.com Tour. He won two events on the eGolf Professional Tour in 2014 and finally earned his Web.com Tour card for 2015 through  qualifying school.

Power had two top-10 finishes on the Web.com Tour in 2015 and finished 72nd on the money list, which was good enough to keep him on that tour for 2016. His breakthrough came in May 2016, when he won the United Leasing and Finance Championship, becoming the first Irish player to win on the Web.com Tour. He also represented Ireland at the 2016 Olympic Games.

His victory at the Barbasol was achieved the hard way, winning on the sixth hole of a marathon playoff. In the process he became the fifth player from Ireland to win a PGA Tour event, following Pat Doyle, Peter O’Hara, Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry.

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Tags: PGA Tour FedEx Cup


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