Power begins Ryder Cup qualification bid at Sanderson Farms

Ronan MacNamara
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Seamus Power (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Last season Seamus Power progressed to the BMW Championship as part of the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career. Having struggled to establish himself Stateside for years, he was officially one of the top-70 players on the PGA Tour in what was another excellent season. 

Power was in contention to win on several occasions, particularly in the early part of the season while he also posted a top-10 at the PGA Championship. 

The Waterford native’s season rather fizzled out after that with a T12 finish at the US Open, the highlight of a finishing stretch that drew three missed cuts in seven starts. 

Power likes to play a packed schedule and perhaps fatigue caught up with him towards the end of the campaign. He will be hoping to return refreshed and ready to go as he tees it up after a month off for five events in six weeks. 

The world number 40 begins here at the Sanderson Farms Championship and it’s a sign of how far he has come that this isn’t his first foray into a long and uncertain season of limited starts in a bid to keep his card. Power tees it up perched inside the top-40 looking to open his Ryder Cup qualification points account as he bids to secure a European debut for Luke Donald’s side in Rome next September. 

Power tees off in one of the featured groups alongside 2019 US Open champion Gary Woodland and Harris English. 

The Country Club of Jackson is a par 72 of 7,461 yards. This marks the ninth year this Mississippi course has hosted the Sanderson Farms Championship.  

The course was redesigned in 2008 (the tournament routing includes the Azalea and Dogwood nines) by John Fought and incorporating some Donald Ross signatures – especially around the greens. 

This championship dates back before that having been first staged at the Hattiesburg Country Club in 1968. In 1994 it moved to the Annandale Country Club before taking up residence at the Country Club of Jackson. 

Sahith Theegala thrilled and broke the hearts of many last season as he came up short of the winning line in some dramatic circumstances. An unfortunate bounce on 17 in Phoenix cost him a sure-fire maiden PGA Tour win before a bizarre double bogey on 18 allowed Xander Schauffele to steal in on him later in the season. 

It’s here that many first got a glimpse of fan favourite Theegala after he held the lead after 54 holes but faded on Sunday. 

Theegala arrives in form after a sixth place finish in Napa where Danny Willett handed Max Homa the Fortinet Championship on the final green and he feels comfortable around here and hopes to be in the mix again. 

“Yeah, just so many positives. I played so well here. It was honestly a course, my first year I missed the cut but only made two bogeys, I think, the first two days, and I was like, okay, I can work with that. Even though I missed the cut, I was like, we can do well out here, I think. 

“Last year I just got off to a hot start. These greens might be some of the best greens on TOUR, if not the best greens on TOUR. They’re running 13s already and they’re glass and so pure. 

“I feel like I see the lines on the putts really well, and there’s a lot of cut shots off the tee, which I pretty much only play. 

“The combination of that just makes me feel really comfortable. 

“I love if you get it going wrong, you can go really wrong, but if you’re playing well, you can also go the other way. I think it’s just a great combination of that.”  

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