Power brilliantly breaks through for maiden PGA Tour victory

Bernie McGuire

Seamus Power celebrates his first victory on the PGA Tour with Simon Keelan (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

“Just forever I’ll be able to say I am a winner on the PGA Tour”.

The wonderful words from Seamus Power following his stunning maiden success in capturing the Barbasol Championship at the Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky.

After knocking on victory’s door for so many weeks, the proud Irishman finally broke through for a maiden Tour title defeating American J.T. Poston with a tap-in par on the sixth hole of a playoff. Power’s win, in his 106th Tour start, came from four shots behind Poston in shooting a five-under-par 67 that included six birdies with two of them over his last three holes and just the one bogey for a final 21-under-par tally. Though Power admitted he had no idea at the time what the 72nd hole birdie meant.

“I’m not a big leaderboard watcher,” he said. “I had a horrible lip-out on 17, so I was kind of disgusted there. When I got to scoring I kind of was like, all of a sudden J.T. made a mistake, James Hahn made a mistake, so I thought there might have been a chance. But no, I didn’t have any idea. Probably thankfully, it might have been a good thing.”

The 28-year-old Poston looked all set for a second Tour win when he birdied the second and eagled the third but the American made a mess of the closing few holes when leading by three shots, first doubling the 15th when he drove OB, albeit by a few inches, and then dropping a shot on 16 after three-putting in his round of 70 to force the play-off.

Poston drove into the water that lines the right side of the par-4 18th at Keene Trace and made a bogey on the final extra hole. Power hit the fairway, playing his second to 12 feet and two-putted for the victory.

On the first extra hole, Power holed an 18-foot birdie chip from the collar of the 18th green and Poston matched him with a 10-foot putt. They matched pars on the next four holes, on No. 18 again, then twice on the par-3 17th, and again on 18. Yet, for a professional golfer there is no better feeling than winning and Power was naturally delighted.

“I mean, there’s no way it’s going to sink in yet,” he said. “I didn’t even know half the stuff you just said there, but yeah, it has, it’s been a bit of a struggle of a season early, and I have found a bit of form recently, but yeah, this changes everything for me.

“Just forever I’ll be able to say I’m a winner on the PGA Tour. It’s not going to sink in yet, but I couldn’t be more proud of Simon (caddy), I have too many people to thank. It’s unbelievable.”

It was also Power’s first time in a play-off.

“I was actually in a pretty good frame of mind, to be honest,” he said.  “It’s my first time in a playoff, didn’t really know what to expect, but I’ve been playing well recently, had a lot of confidence. And then I like that hole. I just birdied it in regulation, so I feel good with my 3-wood in my hand. I knew I was going to have some chances there, but you’re trying to block out those thoughts as best you can, but they do try to sneak in. You just have to — you’ve got to remember some of the things you’ve learned from some very, very smart people that kind of helped you in those situations and you go from there and do the best you can.”

Victory earned Power $US630,000 – the biggest cheque of his career – and a two-year exemption to the end of the 2022/23 Tour season. He earned an automatic start into next year’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, the Players Championship and the PGA Championship.

More immediately Power jumps from 210th to 113th on the world rankings and from 123rd to 69th in the FedEx Cup standings, guaranteeing him a tee time at the first Playoff event at the August 19th commencing Northern Trust, and also the strong possibility of muscling his way into the top-70 who will contest the following week’s BMW Championship.

“I probably have to take three days to kind of figure out some goals,” he said. “Whatever, probably two months ago just to get into the Play-Offs, I would have been absolutely over the moon. I had a good round of golf, but the win is obviously a two-year exemption and someone said I’m in The Players and PGA Championship and that kind of stuff.

“So, everything’s going to change at least for the immediate future.  Again, I haven’t really let that sink in yet, it’s just kind of still hitting me that I’m holding this trophy. They’re all kinds of good things I’ll have to deal with here soon.”

Power now also joins fellow Irish Padraig Harrington, Rory McIlroy, Darren Clarke, Shane Lowry and Graeme McDowell as winners on the PGA Tour nearly four-years after a then relatively unknown Power was picked by Harrington to be his 2016 Ireland Olympic Games partner.

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4 responses to “Power brilliantly breaks through for maiden PGA Tour victory”

  1. Ivan Morris avatar
    Ivan Morris

    A well deserved win. SP kept knocking on the door and it opened eventually. It took courage to attempt making his way in the USA. Untold riches and a pension are now in Seamus’s future. Good for him!

  2. John Boyle avatar
    John Boyle

    What a victory and i have been following his career closely since he turned Pro from West Waterford and what a deserved breakthrough on the PGA Tour.
    This gets him into next years PGA and Players Championships and countless other big money and Ranking events which is massive and the exemption to the end of the 2022/23 season,so its a career changing victory. Best of luck to him and his family in the future.
    Showing great form for a Ryder Cup Wildcard spot especially with the tournament being played in the USA

  3. Aidan McCormack avatar
    Aidan McCormack

    Delighted for @Seamus Power – have been a fan and supported for years -he will now get the credit he deserves. Don’t think he is a member of the European Tour so can’t play Ryder Cup.

  4. Norman Bissett avatar
    Norman Bissett

    I watched Seamus win the Irish Youths at Lisburn a few years back and he looked star material even then! Great to see the reward!!

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