Seamus Power’s remarkable play continues apace at the John Deere, his bogey-free three-under par 68 making it just one bogey in his last 90 holes of golf as he looks to hone in on the one Open spot up for grabs this week at TPC Deere Run.
A routine birdie ‘4’ at the second got the West Waterford man up and running Thursday before a 14 footer for birdie at the sixth was followed by a stone-dead approach to the par-3 seventh.
From there, Power’s play remained exemplary but aside from a huge 39-foot putt for par after finding bunker trouble on the par-3 12th, it was an inward half of frustration as the 34-year old’s putter turned cold in a back-nine parring spree.
In the end, three-under leaves Power just inside the top-30, projected to jump one place to 139 on the FedEx standings, but he’ll have larger goals in his mind, like forcing his way into the top-5 on the leaderboard at week’s end where the leading non-exempt player will book his tee-time at Royal St. George’s.
It’s Sebastian Munoz and Chesson Hadley who set the bar for now, the pair opening with eight-under par rounds of 63 to lead a three-way tie for third that includes Chez Reavie, Camilo Villegas and Hank Lebioda.
“I love this place,” said Colombian Villegas who hasn’t competed at the venue since 2017.
“I didn’t get a chance to come the last few years, but I’m here. This is where I made my first check, by the way, on the PGA TOUR. 2004 I made my first check here. I remember parring the 9th hole to make the cut, and I’ve got good memories.
“There’s great people around this town. They put a great show, they put a great tournament. John Deere has been supportive of the PGA TOUR and our job for many, many years, and I always enjoy being here.”
Hadley meanwhile is looking to go one place better than his share of second at last month’s Palmetto Championship where he held a commanding advantage before folding down the stretch and allowing Garrick Higgo to claim his maiden PGA Tour title.
“Oh, for sure,” Hadley remarked on whether there were still positives to be found from that experience.
“I was probably around 150-ish [on the FedEx], and I think I got 150 points that week, which was great. Unfortunately that was my first top 10 in almost two years. It was, it was my first two 10 in two years, since the 2019 U.S. Open. It was just great to kind of see some things go my way for a change.
“I made a little bit of some mechanical adjustments that helped with that. You don’t just play good by luck, you have to hit the ball where you want to hit it and putt it how you want to putt it. So it was great to do that for three of the four days. Obviously the last day was a struggle, but it was huge for the rest of my year. It gave me some much-needed momentum that I didn’t have.”
- Full scoring HERE