Crunch-time for Power at WGC-Dell Match Play

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Crunch-time for Power at WGC-Dell Match Play

Seamus Power (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Seamus Power has been consistent in playing down his Masters expectations so far this year but he will no doubt be privately gunning to punch his ticket to Augusta National with one more big week needed at the WGC – Dell Technologies Match Play.

Sitting pretty in 48th spot on the world rankings with the top-50 earning their Masters spots on March 28th, Power has been drawn in group 4 alongside world number 4 Patrick Cantlay, #26 Sungjae Im and #71 Keith Mitchell, knowing he’ll likely need at least one win to secure his Masters debut.

The top-64 on the rankings have all played their way into Austin this week but with the likes of Rory McIlroy, Cameron Smith, Hideki Matsuyama and Sam Burns all absent, it means Power has a few more rivals behind him vying for the all-important top-50.

Currently 22nd in the FedEx Cup standings, Power has been calm in his approach to Masters qualification with his big goal this year to play himself into the top-30 at the end of season Tour Championship which would guarantee him an Augusta date in 2023.

“Obviously I get asked about it [Masters] a lot it and it would be brilliant if it happened but one of my biggest goals, or two of my goals for this year, one is to win, and the other is to get to the Tour Championship, both of which would take care of (the 2023 Masters) by itself,” Power said recently.

“But obviously the Masters is the one that everyone wants to be a part of. I have been to the Masters  and watched it and all that kind of stuff and it would be unbelievable.”

Paul McGinley famously turned down an invitation to play Augusta National on a non-tournament week, wanting to earn his first taste of Augusta’s hallowed turf on a Masters debut. He made the famous drive up Magnolia Lane in 2002 and finished 18th and although Power previously looked set to take up an invite to play the course, he admits now that he’s so close to playing his way there, he’d now probably adopt the same stance as McGinley.

“I had a chance to play it a couple of years ago but it didn’t work out,” Power said. “I played in the Seminole pro-member and the guy who was a member there was also a member at Augusta but it never worked out.

“Now that I’m this close to it, I probably would do the same (as McGinley). I have heard of a few guys doing that. It is such a special place that I have been there to watch the Masters a couple of times and it would be incredible. I haven’t had a chance to play it and at this point I’ve said that I’ll definitely wait to qualify by myself.”

Let’s hope Power’s wait is a short one as he looks to join Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry and Padraig Harrington at the first men’s Major of the year from April 7-10. Lowry, off the back of his tied-12th finish at the Valspar, will hope to keep momentum going in the Match Play at Austin Country Club.

Lowry is drawn in a group alongside Brooks Koepka, Harold Varner III and Erik van Rooyen with play underway on Wednesday.

The format of the event will see 16 groups of four players compete over three rounds with the winner of each group advancing to the knock-out stages ahead of Sunday’s final.

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