Seamus Power pulled off two strokes of brilliance to remain in sight of a hopeful top-three finish at the Palmetto Championship at Congaree in South Carolina.
Power headed into a fifth straight weekend appearance sharing fourth place at six-under and was on move right from the first hole in sensationally holing a 24-footer from just shy of the green for a birdie ‘3’.
The Waterford golfer was then elbowed his way to eight-under in getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker in holing a 12-footer for a second straight birdie at the next, the par-5 second.
Power stalled with a bogey on seven before the hurt of finding water guarding the green at nine in taking a double-bogey ‘6’ before starting his fightback with a birdie on 11.
The North Carolina-based Irishman dropped a shot in missing the green left of 13 before Power’s second stroke of brilliance at the driveable par-4 15th where he was back left with his drive but then sensational holed his chip shot from 40-yards for an eagle ‘2’.
Power proudly strode onto the green with his right arm and a huge smile on the face of the Irishman, and with the eagle lifting him back into a share of fifth place at seven-under.
He then pared 16 and 17 but let slip his good work in being short of the green at the par-4 18th and then in chipping to six-feet, he two-putted for a bogey ‘5’ in a level par 71 and dropped to a share of seventh at six-under.
“It was a nice start in making the putt from just short left of the green, so a nice little bonus start,” he said. “And then a nice up-and-down for out of the bunker on 2 for a birdie.
“I didn’t play great in between. I had a nice chip-in on 15 from left of the green, so that was kind of the bonus kind of kept me in a little bit. But not my best, I need something a lot better.”
As for his thoughts heading to the final round in this augural PGA Tour event? “I will just try to play a nice round of golf,” he said. “I’m 6-under so, yeah, just try to have a good round. I didn’t hit it in the best spots today, was never that comfortable on the greens, so just general improvement tomorrow”.
Up front, it was Chesson Hadley leading the way however, Hadley’s confirmation as third round leader was delayed by a single siren warning just prior 6pm local time, and the single blast meaning play should be halted immediately due to the imminent threat of lightning.
Just four players were left on the course, including Hadley and DJ, and all on the 18th hole and will complete their third rounds before the fourth round on Sunday morning.
Hadley captured a first PGA win with victory at the 2014 Puerto Rico Open, and a result to earn him the ‘Rookie of the Year’ title though it’s been a dry PGA Tour run since then so much so, that in 2016 he found himself back on the secondary KornFerry Tour.
The North Carolina born and residing Hadley won twice in 2017 and also lost two play-offs the same year to regain full main Tour status in 2018.
Much of the day three attention though had been focussed though on World No. 1 Johnson who made his move towards a first win in his native state of South Carolina also grabbing a birdie at the second hole. He then stumbled with bogeys on five, eight and 14 and while managing birdies at 15 and 16, he bogeyed 17 just prior to the siren sounding and sits in a tie for third.