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Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Battle hardened Power can take heart from previous victories

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If Seamus Power was under any illusions as to the challenge of playing out of the 126-150 category on the PGA Tour this season, Monday qualifying for this week’s Shriner’s tournament would’ve been a rude awakening.

The West Waterford professional fired an eight-under par round of 64 only to see his hopes of contesting the event on Thursday fade in a seven-way playoff for just two spots at the tournament. How’s that for Monday blues?

Let’s hope it’s not something the Olympian will have to get used to after ending the PGA Tour season in 144th spot on the FedExCup standings.

Power will now look to make the most of his conditional status to ensure his PGA Tour card makes a swift return to his pocket. In terms of challenges, he’s overcome much worse than this in the past.

It was only four years ago that Power played through real pressure on the Web.com Tour as he chased an ambitious American Dream.

Back then, Power’s year finally came to life at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina. An unforgettable hole-in-one on his 71st hole not only earned him his first top-10 finish, but also a brand-new BMW X4. His career uncertainty meant it was a car he only held for a fleeting moment.

“You won it but you still had to pay taxes on it,” he remembered. “It was going to be a huge tax bill and when I didn’t get my PGA Tour card at the end of the year, I figured I should downgrade and use the money a little more smart. I wish I’d have kept it now though.”

And no wonder. With $2,211,174 earned from 80 PGA Tour appearances since 2017, the West Waterford professional can bank on about a dozen starts throughout the year.

Depending on how he performs, Power will be able to improve his status into next year, however he will need to overcome a disastrous missed cut at the Sanderson Farms Championship, where he played his last seven holes in eight-over par, if he’s to continue dining out at golf’s top table.

Power’s Monday 64 suggests he’ll be able to do just that but given the nature of the wraparound Tour and the 52-weeks a year golfing culture that saturates our screens from January to December, there’s no time to recharge and take stock for the here.

Power will have to put a disappointing campaign behind him where 14 missed cuts from 27 starts ultimately proved his undoing stateside. In that time, there was a coaching change, a period of transition and reason to be optimistic, with Power banking over $700,000 to keep him going while he also thrilled home crowds with a much-anticipated Irish Open appearance at Lahinch.

As far as setbacks go, this is a mere blip on the radar and one that Power, given his experience, will no doubt take in his stride.

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