Seamus Power has ended a horrid run of three missed cuts in a row and ensured his place in the closing two rounds of the Puerto Rico Open.
Power, who turns 34 next week, posted an opening 69 and a second round one-under par 71 for a four-under tally on the Grand Reserve Country Club course.
The West Waterford golfer has struggled since undergoing right elbow surgery is also contesting his seventh event of the 2020/21 wraparound schedule and this week will be only his second pay cheque of his new season. Power’s second round was a mix of four birdies and one less bogey.
“I’ve played well these two days and it’s naturally nice to get some weekend work for a change, so looking forward now to the closing rounds,” said Power.
Joining Power over the weekend of Euro 2.5m event is his 2016 Rio Olympic Games Irish teammate Padraig Harrington. Harrington held on after a 15th hole double-bogey to post a level par 72 for a two-under tally and two shots inside the cut-off mark.
At the top Brendan Wu played the back nine in 4 under to take a one shot lead into the weekend. “It was kind of a grind,” Wu said. “I missed a short putt kind of early on in the round, made a bogey I think on my fourth hole. I kind of just had to keep my head down and play well on the back.”
The 24-year-old former Stanford player got into the field through the Korn Ferry Tour points list. He won the Korn Ferry Tour Championship in August, and tied for 14th last week in Florida in the first Korn Ferry event since early October.
Greg Chalmers was a stroke back after a 68. The 47-year-old Australian also birdied his final two holes, the par-3 eighth and par-4 ninth. He had a hole-in-one on No. 8 in the opening round.
“The wind was really blowing,” Chalmers said. “I didn’t have the greatest control, and my short game really held me in good stead. I made some nice saves from sort of 6, 8 feet for par. It’s a little tricky to putt when the wind is blowing like this. And then I hung in there and started to see some better swings and better shots going into the back nine.”
Home star Rafael Campos and South Africa’s Branden Grace were 9 under.
Campos rebounded from a bogey on 17 with a birdie on 18 for a 69. “I think I was just getting a little ahead of myself and I was missing a little bit to the right,” Campos said. “But I was missing in the correct spots. I really was. Which I’m happy with that today. I really never gave myself that many looks to score better, but I managed to deal with the situations as good as I could.”
First-round leader Tommy Gainey followed his opening 65 with a 76 to enter the weekend at 3 under. Ian Poulter also was 3 under after a 70.
The tournament is being played opposite the World Golf Championship event in Florida. The winner will get into the PGA Championship in May.
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