Seamus Power admitted he probably didn’t tick every box he wanted to at Augusta National this week but was still happy enough with how he performed on his Masters debut after finishing with a two-under 70.
The Waterford man finally broke his string of 74s by firing his only under-par round of the week on Sunday, five birdies and three bogeys moving him back up to four-under-par for the week – a respectable result on his first time around the course.
It was always going to be a tough ask for Power to master Augusta on his first go round, and he particularly struggled on the par-fives in his first three rounds, which he played in one-over, although he finally got to grips with them by playing them in three-under on day four.
However, despite an encouraging week, the 35-year-old conceded he had entered the tournament hoping to do much better and was coming away slightly disappointed, but not discouraged.
“I had higher hopes. It’s one of those weeks. It’s golf, and sometimes it’s not quite your week and the putts don’t quite drop and that’s kind of how it was this week,” he sighed.
“I hit it nicely. Gave myself chances, especially the last three days. Just wasn’t able to take advantage. Sometimes leaving it in the jaws, even on 18, there was a tiny bit too much speed along the top edge. It’s small, little differences out here.
“You really realise that you just have to hit very, very good shots. A lot of things you kind of know. It’s like people tell you little things, like 12 has got to be the very exact shot. Coming in you’re like, it can’t be that exact, but then you really do see it.
“You are hitting reasonably good shots and they’re ending up in tough spots, and that’s why it’s soft. That’s why whoever is going to win today is going to be the best player, which is all you can ask for from a course really.”
After opening with a bogey at the first in his final round after missing the green from the middle of the fairway, Power finally got motoring on a par-five when he birdied the second after hitting just short of the green in two, although he would drop another shot with a failed sand save at the par-four fifth.
However, he would finish his back nine strongly with birdies at the par-three sixth and then another on a par-five, the eighth, thanks to another creative up-and-down.
The par-three 12th would prove to be a struggle as he failed to make up-and-down from the back bunker, which led to a bogey, but a two-putt birdie at the par-five 15th immediately cancelled that out, and a birdie at the par-three 16th rounded off his tournament in style.
Fortunately, his first Masters experience hasn’t put Power off a return appearance at Augusta, particularly after an impressive final round in which he was so comfortable he was asking for football scores on his way round.
“It felt like a birdie fest out there for me. I played nicely again. Similar stuff, I just didn’t quite get the putter going, but I hit a lot of good stuff today and played the par-fives much better. That’s the difference,” he smiled, while also admitting he will take next week off before playing the Zurich Classic of New Orleans alongside Graeme McDowell.
“I was three-under for par-fives today, and it just changes your whole outlook on the course. Then you can be more patient when you need to be patient.
“It was good. It was fun. This is kind of what you picture. It’s perfect weather, sun shining, really fast greens, and just light breeze, kind of just making it tricky. It was beautiful out there.
“It was an incredible week, really enjoyed everything. Hopefully we’ll be lucky enough to come back.”