Seamus Power is just two shots off the lead heading into the weekend of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am after a blistering finish saw him emerge from the pack.
Power was already four-under for the day and the tournament after four successive birdies on the front nine but had stalled somewhat on the easier Monterrey Peninsula course before roaring into contention with a momentum changing eagle on the par-5 16th and a birdie on 18 as he closed in on Kurt Kitayama on seven-under.
The Waterford native carded the round of the day with a 64 to move into a share of sixth place as he chases a third PGA Tour title although he admits he didn’t have his best game.
“I had an interesting day. I didn’t play particularly well, but I scored very well. It’s something I kind of pride myself on. Made some good putts, hung in there when I wasn’t hitting a lot of great shots. So all in all very pleased but I would like to kind of see a little better ball striking so I’ll go work on that now for awhile.”
The PGA Tour announced pre-tournament that preferred lies would be in play due to significant rainfall expected on Saturday. Conditions began to worsen in round two, particularly in the middle where Power struggled a little but once the wind calmed he took advantage of the generous finishing holes.
“Yeah, it really was. The first five, six holes kind of rainy and the ball just wasn’t going anywhere. Not much wind. Then we got to the turn and then, for like an hour, hour and a half it really blew like pretty strongly there for a while. The last few holes was very pleasant.
“So it was a day of, kind of — it was one of those days kind of like back home in Ireland where you get a lot of seasons in one day. That’s what it felt like. It’s tough because the course was playing long. Even when you get opportunities in the fairway the greens because of the rain are soft. So trying to keep the ball close to the hole, it can be challenging.
“But, yeah, I was able to make some putts to cover up some of the mistakes. So it was kind of a fun, adventurous day, but hopefully a little more straightforward tomorrow.”
Round three is set to throw the worst of the conditions at the players and Power is ready to battle.
“You just kind of learn just to get on with it, to be honest. It’s out there, it’s raining, you have no control over it whatsoever. So you might as well just do what you can. Keep your hands dry and kind of get stuck in. I think that’s what we learned growing up. We play in a lot of conditions like that. I don’t know that we like it any better than anyone else, it’s just we’re just used to it and you learn some little tricks and techniques to keep yourself dry,” explained Power.
Justin Rose has been trending in the right direction this season and he shot an excellent three-under 69 on the tougher Spyglass Hill course to move to six-under as he prepares to play the Monterrey course.
The 2013 US Open winner will fancy his chances of moving onto Luke Donald’s radar over the weekend but he has already stolen the show with a hole-in-one on the par-3 15th.
“A special day always when you manage to have a hole-in-one. I believe it’s my 12th. Really fun to do, obviously in front of a couple friends, obviously James at Morgan Stanley. So really that was a nice moment.
“Kind of felt like I could have kicked on from that point a little more. Made another birdie to get it to 5-under for my round.”