By his usual laid back standards, Seamus Power cut a frustrated figure after he opened his Open Championship debut with a one-over 73 at St Andrews.
Power had a steady first ten holes with birdies at the ninth and tenth moving him into the red for the 150th Open Championship, and with the driveable par-4 12th and downwind par-5 14th to come, he would have been eyeing a couple more birdies before turning into the wind towards the clubhouse.
However, some misfortune in a fairway bunker on 12 turned his day on its head and the wind was taken from his sails with a double-bogey six; at the time of writing leaving Power nine shots adrift of Cameron Young.
The Waterford native didn’t feel like he did much wrong on the back nine but rued some costly positional shots and missed putts.
“It was strange, I did a lot of good stuff. I hit it in one bunker on 12 and it cost me two or three shots and then a couple of three putts from long, long distance was the difference between shooting one-over rather than three or four-under,” explained Power.
“I hit my best drive of the day on twelve but it didn’t move, the days you have a good score you will miss that bunker by two yards.
“If you told me the shots I would hit standing on the 12th tee I would be very disappointed, I couldn’t have put it in a worse spot on 12. That can happen but a couple of spots on the fourth and fourteenth I was disappointed with. Didn’t give myself much of a chance on 14.
“I doubled twelve and made par on fourteen, that’s three or four shots and that’s the difference in the round – you have to take advantage of those holes. Sometimes a good shot can be to 40-feet and you are trying to get down in two which I failed to do even on 17 today, played it smartly did everything right on the front edge but didn’t get down in two. Just got to be sharper with the putts and get a few breaks tomorrow.
“There will be some individual low scores there are five or six key shots if you hit them you can have easy birdies but I didn’t do that today,” added Power who was alongside Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith.
Power hadn’t played a major championship until the Masters last April but he has found immediate comfort in the flagship events, making three cuts including a T-9th finish at the PGA Championship so hopes were high that the 35-year-old could shine on the Old Course where he was playing as a professional for the first time.
An opening birdie was the ideal start before he unbelievably saw a two-foot par putt horseshoe out for a bogey.
“I hit a good putt and it bobbled a little bit, one of those things you can’t believe it stayed out. That’s golf, it’s like that this course, I will try stay patient and hopefully the breaks come my way tomorrow.”
A three-putt par at the fifth did little to quash what proved to be a frustrating day on the greens. With the Old Course playing arguably as firm as it has ever been, the Tooraneena native was caught off guard at times with the flat stick, taking another three whacks on the famous 17th hole but he did finish on a high note as he birdied the very gettable 18th.
“On the fifth I hit a lovely drive and iron and I’ve a 120 foot putt and three putt for par but you know that going in, it’s just a case of leaving it on the correct side which I didn’t a couple of times, that was the more frustrating part.
“It’s difficult to judge stuff out there, on 15, three irons and 3-woods are ending up in the same spot, if you can get something running there isn’t much to stop it so hopefully the ball doesn’t run into a bunker and that can lead to a good score,” explained Power who still enjoyed his maiden Open experience.
“It’s a different atmosphere sometimes you’re hitting a putt and nobody knows how close it actually is but it’s an extra special feel coming into this. I have rarely seen links golf play like this just have to figure it out as you go.
“Seventh fairway it’s so hard to hit it, have to hit it high and hold it into the wind so it will land in the rough and stay short of the bunker but it’s fun trying to figure stuff out on the fly.”
- Full scoring HERE