Seamus Power will arrive at the front gates of Augusta National tomorrow morning (Sunday US time) determined he will not just be making -up the numbers in his maiden appearance at the 86th hosting of the Masters.
Power, 35, will become the 16th Irishman to compete in the Masters when introduced ‘Fore, please! Seamus Power now driving’ on the first tee next Thursday at the famed Georgia golfing gem.
For the very in-form Touraneena-born golfer, it will be a career milestone and much-anticipated maiden Major Championship appearance for the now Las Vegas-based pro.
“My goals are going to be high for the week, you never quite know about a course but I have always thought my game will match up well for Augusta”, he said. “I have always preferred putting on big greens like Augusta, and I have always putted well on sloppier greens. I have a good short game and I hit it long enough to be okay. I can shape it both ways if I need to.
“Some of it is going to be a wait and see, but never having never played a Major, never played Augusta, it’s something I guess that will play out itself.
“My inner confidence is high, my goals are going to be high for the week, and I am definitely not going there to make up one of the 91 guys, it is going to be all business once I get there, and I’m looking forward to seeing how my game matches up against that course.
“I am just delighted to be a part of it next week. And hopefully, it won’t be my last one or anything like that. It’s just something I’m going to enjoy and no matter what, I’m going to take a lot from it and I am going to really enjoy the week with a bunch of friends and family.
“Also, having watched the Masters for years on TV, I think when I turn up there on Sunday and drive through the front gates, and down Magnolia Lane, that’s going to be my Masters ‘pinch me’ moment.”
Power got word via an email on Monday from Augusta National of confirmation in his place in the Masters field, while the famed envelope and post-marked Augusta, GA arrived in the mail on Wednesday.
“I knew with the World Rankings that if I got out of my match-play group last week that I was definitely good for the Masters but I was still waiting for the confirmation email to come through, and that arrived from Augusta on Monday, so that made it all official”, he said.
“It was all very cool seeing the header on the email that it was coming from Augusta National.
“The official invitation was also sent on Monday and arrived on Wednesday. I couldn’t wait to see that envelope as I’ve seen some guys open those envelopes on Twitter, take pictures of the invitation and post them. So, it’s great now to have a Masters invitation myself.”
It will come as a surprise to many that Power has previously attended the Masters on six prior occasions. Thanks to guest tickets while at East Tennessee State University, plus once when a good friend won the lotto, and then in 2018 when he used his PGA Tour badge, Power has walked golf’s cathedral-like setting on six prior occasions.
Maybe this week could be a seventh time lucky for the World No. 41 ranked Power, and also given that newly-appointed USA Ryder Cup captain, Zach Johnson holds the record as being the lowest world-ranked player at No. 54 in the world in winning the 2007 Masters.
“The whole thing, like driving down Magnolia Lane for the first time is going to be amazing”, said Power. “Every time I’ve been there, I have pictured myself playing in the Masters, so I can’t wait to give it a try and see how it goes.
“I went there first when I was in college and as part of playing in an Augusta State University tournament, and we would receive a Masters Monday practice round ticket. So, I went two or three times and watched Shane (Lowry) practicing.
“There was another time when my good buddy, Michael Newell, won lotto. He’d been entering the Lotto for a long time. He obtained three Masters tickets, so Michael, his dad, and then another buddy, Nick, all went to Augusta.
“There was the time I went as my PGA Tour badge affords me entry into the Masters. One of the perks of being a member of the Tour is what they call a ‘Limo Service’. It’s a black SUV and the four of us jumped in the car and went to the Masters for the day, and back home to Charlotte that evening. That was four years ago in 2018, and it was a very, very wet practice day. It was that wet, we actually left the course once or twice due to the rain, but it was still a great day out.
“The amazing thing is that people are trying to get tickets their whole life for just one visit to Augusta, and I’ve been there six times. It was also just great to see the look on their faces and we actually got to meet Shane (Lowry)”.
Power’s had this past week off at home in Las Vegas, choosing not to compete in San Antonio, but also working with PING Golf as to what he will take, equipment-wise to a first Masters.
“I went to see the PING guys on Thursday, so I don’t think I will be making any club changes”, he said. “I already have a nice setup with a 7-wood that is bent a bit stronger closer to a 5-wood and I carry four wedges anyway so I don’t think there will be any changes.
“I do have a 2-iron that I sometimes swap in for the 5-wood but I imagine the lofted fairway wood would be the better option around Augusta with the Par 5s.”
Masters invitees are entitled to eight guest tickets and with Power confirming he has around 15 close supporters making the trip with eight, including his mother and other family members from Touraneena, five from Dungarvan, a good buddy from Cork.
“I’ve friends coming from every time of my life”, he said. “I’ve people from Las Vegas, friends from Charlotte, and some from my sponsor’s Power HRG who have managed to get tickets themselves. So, I have my mum and family from home, friends from all over the place, from College. Also, my twin brothers Jack and Willie decided who was going to caddy for me in the Par-3 Contest and Willie won, so he’s now living in Australia and he’s going to fly over which is great. It’s a melting pot really and I’m looking forward to it”.
And if you spot a Waterford royal blue and white ribbon on Power’s golf bag that may just be a good omen not only for his beloved Waterford’s own hurling championship chances but his own chances this coming week.
“I have scripted outfits I have to wear each round at Augusta, so I don’t know if I can work on outfits but I’ll get a ribbon on the bag somewhere”, he said smiling.