Seamus Power admitted it wasn’t pretty but as they say, ‘there’s no pictures on the scorecard’ surviving a final round war of attrition to capture the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
Power fended off the challenge of American rookie Ben Griffin and then dealt with his own demons to post a closing day 70 and be a one-shot winner on the severely windswept Royal Port course.
“I look at this this course is always gonna be a tale of two sides,” said Power. “I knew it was just going to be really hard coming in and it was, I made hard work of it in the end but yeah delighted to get done.”
The victory is the Waterford golfer’s second Tour success in 15 months that will see him jump 15 spots to the new World No. 33, and the certain assurance at year’s end of a second straight Masters invitation come next April.
It is also a back-to-back Irish success on the PGA Tour with Power winning a week after Rory McIlroy successfully defended the CJ Cup in South Carolina, and in the process it sees Power take McIlroy’s fifth place standing on the 2022/23 FedEx Cup standings.
It was a cloudless final day but with the wind not letting up, and averaging around 35-40kph, coming right off the Atlantic Ocean and turning the last day into a test of the fittest.
Power went into the final round tied at 18-under-par with Griffin, with the pair turning the opening 11 holes into their own private match-play showdown.
The Irishman got the start he wanted, holing a six-footer for a first birdie at the opening hole in his four rounds, with Griffin also taking birdie.
Power soon found himself two shots behind through only four holes with some indifferent approach play with many shots over those opening four holes in landing shots around 20-feet or so from the flags.
However, Power was again waving in delight to a strong Irish following at the fifth in holing an 18-footer for his second birdie of the round and back to just one adrift of Griffin.
Power then moved to 21-under but stayed one behind in two-putting the par-5, seventh, and taking birdie for three of four rounds. It was just minutes before Griffin came unstuck at the par-3 eighth, dropping a shot and handing Power a share of the lead.The pair headed into the business end of the $6m tournament tied for the lead with Griffin seizing the initiative at 10 in holing a long downhill for his fifth birdie of his round, and minutes ahead of Power missing his 10-footer for birdie.
A Griffin birdie at 11 put him two shots clear of Power but it would be the highwater mark of his challenge and sadly with his wife looking on, who had flown-in for the final round, the American horribly dropped six shots in five holes, including taking a double bogey at the clifftop 16th.
Power was also experiencing his own concerns taking bogey at 13, and while he birdied 14, he dropped shots at 15 and the 16th where he three-putted after taking birdie on the three earlier rounds.
And then as the highest-ranked player in the field, Power finally grabbed the winning initiative taking birdie at 17 to head down the last leading by two and success, albeit by a shot after he bogeyed the 72nd.
“This win is a completely different feeling than my first win but just as special, you know, it’s just it’s so hard to win out here. I play a lot of tournaments and it’s just it’s only my second win, it’s amazing, It’s gonna take a little while to sink in. But I’m absolutely over the moon,” added Power.
Belgium’s Thomas Detry (67) was runner-up at 18-under-par while Griffin saw his nightmare day end in signing for 72 and slip to a share of third at 17-under.
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