Three birdies in his closing four holes saw West Waterford’s Seamus Power jump inside the top-50 ahead of the final round at the PGA Tour’s Puerto Rico Open.
Power, who went birdie-birdie over his closing two holes on Friday just to make the weekend cut, again saved his best for last as he continued his momentum up the leaderboard after starting the day in 60th place.
Five birdies amongst his second successive round of 69 saw him jump 11 places up the board to a share of 49th on five-under par, with Power knowing more is needed Sunday as he looks to take advantage of limited starts this year to ensure he regains his full status on Tour.
Such worries don’t enter the head of Tour rookie Viktor Hovland who now sets the pace outright as he goes in search of a maiden PGA Tour win.
So far so good as rounds of 68-66-64 for an 18-under par tally see him one clear of Scotland’s Martin Laird with a round to play.
Patience was key; his ball-striking went unrewarded as putts slid by before the 22-year old caught fire with five birdies, including – just like Power – three in his closing four holes to hold the clubhouse lead.
“I’ve failed a lot at keeping my composure,” said Hovland.
“I haven’t been playing as good as I was this week, but I just put a lot of pressure on myself. Whenever I missed a putt, I let it really get to me. But this week I know I’m playing good, so a couple misses here and there aren’t really going to kill me.”
At age 22, Hovland is looking to join Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Hideki Matsuyama as the last five PGA Tour winners of the same age.
“Hopefully I just continue doing what I have been doing the first three days here. It would be unbelievable to have won on the Tour already, but I’m just worried about tomorrow,’ he said.
“Hopefully I can hit some good shots and make some putts. I’m just trying to have some fun tomorrow and see how it goes.”
“It would mean a lot [to win]. It would put me in a way different position compared to what I am now. I’ve gotten invitations here and there, which has been great, but I would like to play my way into tournaments… that’s a very good steppingstone.”
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