18 months ago Seamus Power was 463rd in the world rankings, trying to Monday qualify for the Honda Classic with his goal nothing more than playing in fifteen PGA Tour events so the year counted towards his pension.
Now the Waterford warrior has two PGA Tour wins in the space of 15 months, has booked his return to the Masters in April and is on course to crack the top-30 (career-high 32nd) in the world for the first time.
And there is a certain Mr. Luke Donald taking a few notes no doubt…
The word ‘warrior’ is a fitting way to describe Power who has had to battle and scrap for everything he has achieved in the game of golf – a sport that can be so unforgiving and cruel at times.
Playing in a period of his career that is commonly known as a golfer’s prime, the Seamus Power story is one of perseverance and courage.
Rarely seen as a star turn in his youth, taking a college scholarship after Rory McIlroy decided to turn professional instead, years of battling on the mini tours and Monday qualifiers – he has had nothing handed to him.
Many more promising prospects have fallen by the wayside at a younger age than Power but he is now reaping the rewards of a career that has been defined by grit and determination.
It’s poignant that Power should collect his second PGA Tour win on the same Sunday that 34-year-old German Sebastian Heisele announced his retirement after the Portugal Masters on the DP World Tour.
When asked about his experience on tour he was blunt in saying it was tough. There is no doubt Power would have echoed those sentiments 18 months ago when he was bouncing between the Korn Ferry and PGA Tour unable to plan his schedule, relying on last minute invites and Monday qualifiers.
You never know if that break is going to come if at all and it’s crucial that if it does arrive that you grasp it, and Power has. Now he is dining at the top table of professional golf.
Winning once on the PGA Tour was fantastic and nobody could ever take that away from him, but to win twice is simply an amazing achievement for a player who has come from nothing.
“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,” said Power who has become just the sixth Irish multiple PGA Tour winner.
The 35-year-old will have learned a lot about himself this week. His first win at the Barbasol was a moment of realisation that he can do it, he can win, but I believe his latest triumph will stand to him more.
Yes, it was far from pretty last night, there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell I would have watched it if he wasn’t in contention. But he got over the line. Just.
Nobody goes into events expecting Seamus Power to win but he teed it up on Thursday as the bookies favourite, the headline act, the only player inside the top-50. He won’t admit it, but that is pressure. And he delivered.
Winning when you are expected to do so is a rare feat.
I think Power had already proved that his maiden PGA Tour win was no flash in the pan given what he did in the major championships this year a top-30, a top-9 and a top-12 finish in your first three major starts was an indication that he belongs at the top level.
In truth, since that T-12th at the US Open in June, Power had only posted one top-25 finish as his season petered out at a whimper.
Entering the week in 48th place in the world rankings, looking over his shoulder at the top-50 bubble and with three missed cuts in his last six starts I was beginning to wonder could Power level up and go again entering a Ryder Cup year.
Now the outlook is completely different. He has some serious momentum heading into the New Year where he started last season so strongly and there is no reason why he can’t win for a third time on tour which would all but guarantee him a spot in Luke Donald’s European team next September.
He has undoubtedly enhanced his Ryder Cup credentials but in a European qualification race that will be wide open this season you could argue that Power is in the same boat as the likes of a Robert MacIntyre, the Hojgaard’s, Thomas Pieters and Sepp Straka. He could really burst from the pack by going toe to toe with some of the world’s best next year in a PGA Tour event with a higher quality of field.
To put into context the scale of Power’s achievement. He has more PGA Tour victories than Will Zalatoris, Cameron Young, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Fitzpatrick, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and the same as Tony Finau.
Irish golf is in a really good place at professional and amateur level. Power now adds his name to an illustrious list of 2022 Irish winners including Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Pádraig Harrington, Darren Clarke, Leona Maguire and Matthew McClean.
Opportunity knocks for the next generation of Irish golfers at the DP World Tour Q-School and the Challenge Tour Grand Final this week. There is no better source of inspiration to show what can be achieved than Seamus Power.