Paul McGinley believes the next stage in Seamus Power’s development is proving to himself that he can compete with the best fields in golf, with a first Major championship appearance amongst a host of huge tournaments on the horizon this year.
Speaking on the Sky Sports Golf Podcast, McGinley expressed his delight for the West Waterford man given his trajectory over the past year or so but the former Ryder Cup Captain hopes there’s more to come from Power, believing he’s yet to fully prove himself on the best courses and against the best fields in golf.
“Seamus has a nice solid game,” McGinley said. “He hits the ball a good distance, he putts well, and he’s a smashing guy. An absolutely lovely guy.
“You were always hoping that he was going to ignite but he was one of the many people you see coming onto the tour and not being able to make the grade.
“After ten years, the odds of somebody then making it are very, very slim. There’s always a game-changer and I know last summer he spent a little time with Dr. Bob Rotella and whatever Bob has done, I think it’s ignited something in him – leaving behind all the technique, leaving behind the worry about maybe not being good enough, and just getting stuck into his own mindset and what needs to be done and compete and play.
“He’s gone to another level. He won the Barbasol last year and it’s obviously given him a lot of confidence and he’s gone on to finish the season really strongly and come out again this year much the same.
“What I’m looking for next from Seamus is to watch him compete when the big boys are around. With all due respect, he’s performed well in these tournaments where the scoring is low and the field’s aren’t particularly strong, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he’s going to be compete on these tougher courses against stronger fields.”
There’s no time like the present for Power who returns to action at this week’s Genesis Invitational played at one of golf’s most revered tracks in Riviera Country Club. With three top-10 finishes already in the books this season, Power’s form of last year has seamlessly continued.
The 34-year old now sits at a career high 45th on the world rankings with further opportunity abound, not just at this week’s $12.5m Genesis but also next month’s $20m Players Championship with a certain cut-off date looming after that and a possible first trip up Magnolia Lane should he remain within the top-50 by March 28th.
“The tournament that he won is one of the few that doesn’t give you that Masters exemption so that’s why these top-10s he’s been having are really important to help him climb the world rankings,” McGinley added.
“But over the next few weeks as the fields get stronger, starting with Riviera this week and then we move into the Florida, the courses are going to get more difficult and that cut-off date of March 28 is looming so this time will reveal a lot.
“Hopefully he’s up for that challenge.”
Listen to this week’s Irish Golfer Podcast