Seamus Power was content with his opening day’s work after carding a two-under par 70 at the Korn Ferry Tour’s MGM Resorts Championship at Paiute. The West Waterford professional fired five birdies but also three bogeys in a rock-solid start that leaves him in a tie for 18th, just four back of the lead.
“It wasn’t a bad round,” said Power, who’s found starts hard to come by on the PGA Tour having lost his full status this year. “It was cold and it was tough to start it off on greens that were firm and fast. So it’s a good test and that’s a good start. Overall I am pleased.”
One of the early starters on Thursday, Power struggled with the early morning temperatures in Las Vegas but will have no such concerns in the afternoon heat in round two as he looks to get some much needed game-time under his belt.
“It wasn’t easy to start with the coldness in your hands,” he said. “But all in all it was a pretty solid day. I could be a shot better here or there but my game is pretty good. I had some physical stuff for a while that was kind of hindering me but that’s cleared up.
“I’m not playing on the PGA Tour this week obviously but I am hoping to play the Zürich Classic of New Orleans next week so I’m raring to go and looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Meanwhile, it was another early starter, Kevin Dougherty who sets the pace ahead of round two after the American took route 66 to the clubhouse to claim a one-stroke lead at six-under. Dougherty leads Sam Saunders by one at the Paiute Golf Resort’s Sun Mountain course which yielded a first-round scoring average of more than a stroke over par (73.026) due to 15-20mph winds throughout the day.
“This morning when we got here at 5:30, it felt like it was 25 degrees,” laughed Dougherty. “I think for everyone on the range it was the coldest we’ve ever been. That part was tough, the warm-up was tough. I didn’t really pack for this weather so I was a little short-handed. But it turns into more of a survival game and just hitting certain shots rather than playing the perfect round of golf.”
Once warmed up, Dougherty was able to use his length to his advantage. Sixth on the Korn Ferry driving distance charts, he nailed two eagles to move clear of the field.
“I definitely used my length to my advantage,” Dougherty added. “There are probably not a lot of guys that can reach the third hole [in two], so being able to have an eagle putt there, and then converting was big. Getting the one on No. 7 was a bonus. It was a left pin with a left-to-right pin, so it was tough to get to. I made about a 50-footer.”
- Full scoring HERE