Seamus Power struggled on the Waialae Country Club greens for a third successive round at the Sony Open in Hawaii, and his one-under 69 sees him fall 11 strokes behind leading duo Keegan Bradley and Grayson Murray.
A missed six-footer by Joel Dahmen on the 36th hole on Friday evening opened the door for Power and a further 16 players to play at the weekend, and the Waterford man’s ball striking had been superb on the day as he carded a four-under round, despite losing almost two strokes on the greens.
Just seven shots back, he was still very much in the mix and, starting round three on the back nine, two birdies in his opening three holes, including a 17-footer on the 12th, suggested that his fortunes with the flatstick were turning. A three-putt from just outside 20 feet on 14 resulted in his first dropped shot of the round, and he’d miss birdie putts from five feet on 16 and nine feet on 18 as he made the turn at -1.
Despite making a good par save from eight feet at the fifth, he’d miss another 10 footer for birdie on six, then three-putted the seventh to drop back to level par. He rebounded by holing a ten-footer for birdie on the eighth, but missed from 14 feet for birdie on the par-5 ninth, reaching the clubhouse at -3, and taking his accumulated Strokes-Gained-Putting losses to over six-strokes, dead last of the 82 players who’d made the cut.
It is particularly frustrating for Power, who returned to competition following a hip injury at last week’s The Sentry and struggled tee-to-green but putted well, only to see a complete reversal this week as he’s positive in all other facets of the game bar putting.
A good final round could yet see the Waterford man move up the leaderboard, but he’ll need his fortunes on the greens to change.
Keegan Bradley and Grayson Murray share the 54-hole lead at -14 after rounds of -7 and -6 respectively. Bradley made eight birdies with just the one bogey in his 63, while Murray made four birdies and an eagle as they leapfrogged the 36-hole leading trio of Ben An, Carl Yuan and Austin Eckroat.
Of these, An at -11 fared best, shooting two-under, while Eckroat shot -1 and Yuan stagnated to remain on -9 after shooting level-par.
Sam Stevens is now the closest challenger as he sits one back on -13 after matching Bradley’s 63, with a five-way tie for fourth at -11 including last week’s winner Chris Kirk and Frenchman Mathieu Pavon, one of 10 DP World Tour players to gain PGA Tour cards through their Race to Dubai ranking in 2023
“Yeah, there were times when the wind was blowing,” said Bradley after scoring proved statistically the most difficult of the three days. “It kind of laid down at the end of the day. Not expecting a ton of wind tomorrow.
“I really enjoy playing this course. I’ve always enjoyed it. Always felt like I could someday win here; hopefully that day will be tomorrow.”