What a difference a year makes. This time 12 months ago, Seamus Power was ranked outside the top-400 in the world, recovering from elbow surgery, struggling for starts on the PGA Tour and worried about his future. This week he tees up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions courtesy of his lucrative winner’s category as he now takes aim at the top-50 golfers in the world.
Indeed, life has taken an almighty turn for the better for the now world number 73 who arrives to the serene surrounds of Kapalua for the no-cut, limited field $8.2million event. If ever there was a place to start the year, Hawaii is it. Just 39 players tee up from Thursday with four days of sunshine in the high-20’s Celsius forecast for most of the game’s big winners of last year.
Rory McIlroy isn’t amongst them despite two wins on his 2021 resume. He’ll return to action at the DP World Tour’s Abu Dhabi Championship later this month, leaving Power to fly the flag for Ireland solo and secure some guaranteed prize money on the Plantation Course.
Not that his mission is money motivated this week. Having now banked over $5million on the PGA Tour, the 34-year old has new goals, not least booking himself a trip to Augusta National for a first Masters appearance. A third place finish would move him inside the all-important top-50 while a win this week could bump him as high as the top-30 with the first Major of the year set for its traditional April slot.
“The way the world rankings work you can climb quickly, but we’ll see what happens,” Power told the Independent.
“The Sentry is a good chance to get started and kind of go from there. It seems like Shane [Lowry] has been ranked in the top-50 in the world forever, and just to be somewhere in the same vicinity as a player of his calibre is kind of cool.”
Of course, there’s no panic on Power’s ascent. Having climbed more than 350 spots on the world charts in the space of 12 months, why would there be?
Last year’s Barbasol Champion has also enjoyed a productive wraparound season with four top-25 finishes already in the books including a tied-4th result last time out at the RSM Classic.
Already inside the top-25 on the FedEx Cup standings as he stares into another bumper year, Power’s trajectory remains very much on an upward curve and with four days in paradise and a free roll of the dice for a man who currently bases himself in Vegas, the odds of another rankings’ boost seem very much in the West Waterford man’s favour.
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