Power well-placed for big weekend in Sin City

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Seamus Power (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

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Seamus Power is well positioned to roll the dice over the weekend rounds in Las Vegas after adding a three-under 68 to his opening 66 to be sitting six shots off the lead at the halfway point of the Shriner’s Children’s Open.

Back in business after missing the cut at his season opener at the Sandersons Farms, Power was back to his brilliant best over the front nine holes, picking up shots at the third, seventh and ninth to be out in 32 as he moved up the board with ease.

At eight-under for the tournament, the only surprise with nine holes to go at TPC Summerlin on Friday was that that’s where he stayed; the West Waterford man missing five decent birdie chances inside 20 feet on his way to nine closing pars for his eight-under tally, leaving him in a tie for 17th, six shots back of Sungjae Im and Chad Ramsey.

The leading pair both recorded superb six-under 65 to head the field at 14-under with last week’s winner, Sam Burns lurking in the wings after bursting into life with a 63 to move to 13-under par. Winning back-to-back is never easy on Tour but Burns seems to have compartmentalised last week’s performance and he insists he’s ready to go again against a stacked leaderboard in the desert.

“I think what we tried to do is just last week’s last week.,” Burns said. “This week is Shriners and preparing for this week, trying to make sure Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, that we are giving ourself the best opportunity to play well this week.

“So that’s been the biggest thing is just trying to move on from last week. Obviously incredibly honoured that I won last week and such a fun time, but just trying to kind of leave that there, come here, and just preparing the best that I can.”

Matthew Wolff remains right in the hunt in a tie for sixth at 11-under, the same score as England’s Harry Hall who heads the European challenge while Francesco Molinari’s revival continues after a second round 64 saw him move alongside Power at minus-eight.

And in hugely encouraging news for Graeme McDowell, the 2010 US Open champ looked back to his best, at least for the back nine on Friday, with a five-birdie blitz launching him 57 places up the leaderboard to a tie for 42nd at six-under par. It’s the first PGA Tour weekend McDowell has made since April.

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