Harrington spotted Power’s potential at the 2016 Olympics and now the flame is lit

Ronan MacNamara
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Seamus Power and Padraig Harrington at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Seamus Power has hailed the influence of Pádraig Harrington and insists some words of encouragement at the 2016 Olympics gave him the belief that he could have a successful career. 

After Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry withdrew from representing Ireland at the Rio Games citing the zika virus as their reasons. Ireland rocked up to the men’s competition with Pádraig Harrington and the little-known Seamus Power who had been plying his trade on the Web.com Tour. 

The Waterford native impressed in his first experience on the world stage, finishing as the leading Irishman in a share of 15th place, while also leaving a good first impression on Harrington. 

“Padraig’s been great. You obviously believe it deep down, but still it adds a little bit more when you hear it coming from someone like him who’s seen it all,” said Power. “Like he’s been around, he’s played against all the top players the last 20 years, 30 years even now. 

“Yeah, it means a lot. Yeah, just little text messages from him here and there, they go a long way just from who he is and kind of what he stands for and the career he’s had, it just, it hits home a little bit more.” 

The pair have become well acquainted with each other in recent years on the PGA Tour and now in the major championships, having played a practice round together in Augusta last year.

From watching him on the television to sharing the fairways with the three-time major champion, Power has been inspired by Harrington’s hard work which has led to his longevity in the game. 

“Like I first kind of got to spend time with him at the Olympics in Rio in ’16. Yeah, I’m never brilliant to ask questions, but I’m always kind of observing. It’s very interesting playing practice rounds with him and just seeing him over the last few years.  

“Even with the ball speed stuff and all that, like out of any of the guys, Padraig has been on that a lot longer than most people and you see it paying off for him now, the distance he’s hitting it now. Him just like hitting that home and like the importance that can of have in your golf game is massive. 

“I just, I mean, look, I followed Padraig’s career forever, he’s inspired a generation of golfers in Ireland. I was lucky enough to watch a lot of that growing up and stuff, so you’re always kind of learning from him and he’s been great for Irish golf.” 

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