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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Power emerges from mist and rain to be in Puerto Rico contention

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Seamus Power produced his lowest score of the new season and emerged from the mist and rain with six birdies in a five-under par 67 to put himself into real contention heading to the final round of the Puerto Rico Open.

Power leaped 18 places into a then clubhouse share of fifth place at 10-under par before officially ending the third round of the rain-affected Euro 2.5m event sharing 10th place, but only four shots from the lead.

It rained twice during the third day’s play and within a handful of minutes of Power arriving back at the clubhouse the rain got very heavy, forcing a 12-minute stoppage to play on the Caribbean island nation.

“I played nicely and it’s nice to get finished before the stoppage as it was really blowing in the middle of the round but now it’s kind of died down”, he said.

“It was tough playing into the par fives, like the one there at the end but overall, it was a very solid round.

“We also had plenty of mist and two earlier rain showers with the first on the fourth hole when it rained for about two minutes and then another on 15, and there on 18th but I managed to get in, as I said, before play was halted.

“The thing is you do get changing conditions down here and you just go about dealing with it but it was interesting today as there was about a 30-minute period when there was about a 25-mph wind on the 16th to the start of playing 18 when there was almost no wind, so you just kind of adjust as you go.

“Overall, it definitely makes for something of a fun day”.

And Power clearly enjoyed his day’s work and his lowest score in his seven events of the 2020/21 wraparound season which is also his best round since a similar 67 on day three of last August’s Wyndham Championship in North Carolina.

Also, the West Waterford golfer arrived into Puerto Rico for a third time in his career having missed the cut on debut in 2017 (Scores 69 & 76) and T35th last year (Scores 73, 69, 69 and 68).

Power grabbed six birdies in his round at the second, third, seventh, 12th, 14th and 16th holes, with his only dropped shot at the fourth and if there was a pick of the birdies it was at the 459-yard par-4 14th where instead of going with the driver off the tee, he chose a 3-wood.

“I had bogeyed 14 the first two days, so that was nice to birdie it today,” he said.

“I went with a 3-wood today and a different strategy off the tee, it worked and I got a birdie, so that’s nice when you see something like that pay-off.

“So, looking forward now to tomorrow and going out there feeling very comfortable and hitting some more good shots.”

In contrast, Padraig Harrington struggled with a one-over par 73 that included three birdies but also two bogeys and a sixth hole double.

Puerto Rican Rafael Campos, aged 32, is set to bring the house down should he capture a maiden PGA Tour victory.

Born in the capital San Juan, Campos bogeyed the last hole in a round of 67 to be tied for the lead at 14-under par with American Grayson Murray, who shot a third day 65.

Campos arrived home with a 2020/21 record similar to Power having contested eight events and like the Irishman made just one cut.

He is also contesting only his 34th PGA Tour event since his first as an amateur back in 2008 while he’s had three top-10 finishes.

LEADERBOARD

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