“Aloha e Simona. He mea maikai ke hookipa ia oe i Hawaii nei”.
With thanks again to Google even my Hawaiian is superb with this greeting translating to: “Hi there Simon. It is good to welcome you back to Hawaii”.
For a second year in succession Seamus Power returns in the first week of January to the Hawaiian island of Kapalua a champion, teeing-up at this week’s ‘winners only’ Sentry Tournament of Champions.
And in a career first, Power will proudly step down off his Hawaii flight atop of the 2022/23 FedEx Cup standings having led the money list since early November in capturing a second Tour victory with his triumph at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.
That’s a period of some eight weeks for the Waterford golfer who also ended 2022 with a second straight invitation into The Masters along with the assurance of a tee-time into all four majors in 2023, plus automatic entry into a dozen other ‘elevated’ prizemoney events that includes a now $25m purse for the Players Championship.
The golfing Santa Claus had indeed been kind to Power but there’s no denying he’s worked ultra-hard to earn this lofty PGA Tour standing heading into a New Year.
Ahead of finding the deep end of competition in 2023 on the US West Coast, and in a first in Power’s now 12-years pro career, he will tee-up on the DP World Tour not only for a maiden occasion in the Middle East but in a first ‘regular’ Tour tournament in his career that’s not being held on Irish soil.
It was over 17-years ago a then 18-year-old amateur made his DP World Tour debut at the 2005 Irish Open at Carton House and since then he’s contested just eight other DP World Tour sanctioned events, including six this past year. Power contested the 2013 and ’19 Irish Open’s while in 2022 he again teed-up in Ireland’s premier event along with the four majors and a WGC event.
Now as a full DP World Tour member Power will first join fellow Irishman Shane Lowry as a member of the GB&I Hero Cup side taking to the Abu Dhabi National course on January 10th ahead of the duo contesting the following week’s lucrative Rolex Series Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the Yas Links course, each in the UAE capital.
And what a great change to past storylines at this time of year in writing about Power given for many years he battled to retain his Tour card, often heading into a new year uncertain when or where he would be teeing-up.
Not now with the richest of rich rewards the golf world has to offer at his feet.
“A couple of years ago, in my mind, it was always about the top 125, and people asking you that, and then you kind of get away from that – and then you’re worried about, maybe like last year around the match-play, there was like top 50, and this and that,” said Power in a recent Irish Independent article.
“But that’s the fun thing with golf; there’s always milestones to try to reach, things to strive for and goals to reach, so it’s just another one of those.
“As long as I don’t get to the point where it’s affecting me out on the golf course, thinking about that, it’s great”.
Included among those milestones is a hopeful journey to Rome.
But just as the sight of one swallow doesn’t make a summer, it’s the same for Power though these up-coming three weeks do present opportunity to further boost his golfing credentials.
And then if all comes to fruition, and the competition lights stay Emerald Green, how magnifico will it be to see Power being overwhelmed late on the first Sunday in October by a impassioned Italian outpouring declaring …
“Fantastico, Simon. Fantastico!”
You don’t need to go to Google to translate what this means.
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