Seamus Power is now just 24-hours from Tulsa and a first appearance later this week in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills.
There’ll be no driving home, no welcoming light or small hotel for the night, just a short charter flight directly north later this Sunday night (US time) for the seasons second major.
It will also be Power’s second straight career major and helping lift his aspirations heading to the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson, was the sight of the Irishman thrilled to hole a 30-foot putt for an eagle ‘3’ to end day three at TPC Craig Ranches.
After opening scores of 66 and 67, Power’s third day, of a three-under 69, handed him a 14-under-par tally and he now heads to the final round of the $9m event just inside the top-20.
Columbian Sebastian Munoz continues to lead the field, though only by a shot, at 21-under par following his six-under 66.
The 29-year-old Bogota-born Munoz, who now lives in Texas, sensationally capped his round in holing a 60-foot bunker shot for an eagle ‘3’ with his ball hitting the flagstick at the par-4 sixth hole and actually falling into the cup from behind the flag.
Munoz is looking for only a second PGA Tour success and also produced five birdies but then missed an eight-footer for birdie on 18.
Dallas-born Jordan Spieth was at eight-under in his round through 14 holes, and while the three-time major winner dropped a shot at the 15th, he holed a six-footer at the last and much to the delight of a large local following, in an eight-under par 64 to be in second, and only one back at 20-under.
“I must have had four eagle attempts today and that’s how good the game is, so it would be so nice to win again in Texas”, Spieth said in capturing last year’s Valero Texas Open in San Antonio.
“I want to say the first time my dad ever brought me out here I must have been five or six years old and I just remember trying to get an autograph from the pros. I remember Davis Love being so nice to me early on and it was, I mean from then on that kind of solidified my dream to be a professional golfer.
“So, having a chance to win this event, this will be kind of the best chance I’ve maybe ever had going into Sunday.
“It’s really exciting, a lot of friends and family out, did a good job not putting too much pressure on myself, I just wanted to get into contention and obviously see what needs to be sharpened for next week.
“But there’s no better prep for a major than winning the week before, I think, so go out there tomorrow and try to do what I did the last couple days”.
Spieth returned home to his beloved Lone Star State last month winning at his last start in defeating Patrick Cantlay at the RBC Heritage and, as he pointed out, what better way to be heading to what will be his 38th career major later this week, as the 28-year-old also seeks to win the one major that would see him join the most exclusive club in all of golf.
Chilean Joaquin Nieuman made it two South Americans among the top three and also signed for a 65 to be in third place at 19-under, as he looks to win for a second time this season after capturing the Tiger Woods hosted Genesis Invitational
World No. 1 and reigning Masters champion, Scottie Scheffler may be a few too many back, but in signing for his lowest score of the week, a seven-under 65 to be just inside the top-10 at 16-under, it is a reminder he’s not about to go away.
“I missed a few opportunities, and to not be putting all that well is not that bad so I am pretty happy with that but I will need a hot putter”, said Scheffler.
With the Texas course still a birdie feast, Power found himself slightly short-changed on day three. He had managed seven birdies on day one, five on day two but could only muster four on moving day.
Power bogeyed the fourth though for a third day running and he also he birdied the fifth and sixth holes, two-putting the par-5 fifth and then chipping in from 21-feet for birdie at the par-4 sixth.
Then somewhat remarkably he proceeded to post eight straight pars, and as Power had done a day earlier, before breaking the streak with a birdie on 14 ahead of a bogey at 15 before his grandstand finish at the last.