Seamus Power is now playing a double waiting game as he waits to learn if he will get a start in next month’s Charles Schwab Challenge at Fort Worth in Texas.
It’s been nearly three months since Power shot a final round 68 in February’s Puerto Rico Open that saw him head into ‘lockdown’ lying 201st on the FedEx Cup standings.
There was the good news for the 33-year old West Waterford golfer in that he will retain ‘conditional’ status for the 2020/21 wraparound schedule having ended the 2019/20 season among those ranked 126th to 150th on the money list after the Tour’s announcement on April 30.
Power chose rightfully to remain in the States at his Charlotte residence following the lock-down from where he can now work stronger on his game with coach, Ken Guilford, the PGA head professional at nearby Cabarrus Country Club, located in the north-western suburbs of Charlotte.
“I’ve been lucky, very lucky. I’ve been working with my coach but it’s been different, you know, staying a distance away and all that but I’ve still been able to see him and talk to him so I’ve probably been in a better spot than most to be honest. It’s been good,” said Power to good friend and the Irish Examiner’s Simon Lewis.
“I was worried at the start because they were closing it down in Florida and other places and even back home and a lot of other countries.
“I presumed they were going to follow suit here but fortunately for me at least, they didn’t. For whatever reason, golf was regarded as an essential activity somehow so courses staying open has been, for me, brilliant.
“They brought in some regulations about not touching the pins and they took away a bunch of small rules but I can go out and do stuff and keep some sort of normality during the daytimes. Evenings you’re stuck at home but at least the golf stayed.”
However, the big concern now for Power is the wait to establish if he will get a start in the proposed June 11th restart to the PGA Tour at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth.
He’s contested the event the past three years but with many of the Tour’s leading players looking also to get back into Tour competition, Power could find himself sitting out for another week.
What could work in his favour is that many of the European based members, such as Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Bernd Wiesberger and Tyrrell Hatton will choose to remain in Europe.
“It was good news I have ‘Conditional Status’, which means I’m staying in the 126th to 150th Category as a worst-case scenario,” he said also to Simon.
“The initial delay wasn’t going to affect me too much but restarting in June was not going to be very good for me, so it’s definitely raised the floor for my status, which is good as I’m pretty much in the same spot as I was last year.
“Hopefully I can get into some events this summer and maybe improve it. That’s the plan for now.
“The email from the Tour which we all got said that the plan was still for June 8, so guys will start committing to where they want to play and that will give me a better idea.
“I don’t know but for me, it depends on whether guys can get back into the States or whether guys are comfortable playing. If the answer to those questions is that all guys are going to play then I might not get in much, maybe only a couple before the end of this season.
“But there’s a lot of unknowns. I mean, the Tour goes to Detroit, Michigan, and Connecticut, two of the States worst hit so I don’t know if guys are going to want to go up there.
“The hope is to play the first one, at Colonial. If this stuff hadn’t happened, I wouldn’t have gotten in there but with all this going on, who knows what’s going to happen.
“They’re expanding some of the fields and doing other things like that so hopefully I can get in. I’ll definitely get a couple, like the opposite-field events, the Barracuda, maybe the John Deere but everything is changing all the time so it’s difficult to predict.
“If not, I’m going to try and play some of the Korn Ferry Tour events and get back into playing a bit, be kind of extra-ready to go for when I do get my chances on the PGA Tour.”