Power gives Open hopes shot in the arm at John Deere

Ronan MacNamara

Seamus Power (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

Ronan MacNamara

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Seamus Power’s hopes of making it an Irish half dozen at the Open Championship in Royal Troon remain intact after he opened with a 64 at a low scoring John Deere Classic.

Power lies in a share of sixth place on seven-under, five shots behind Hayden Springer who carded a sensational round of 59 to reach twelve-under.

The leading two players not already exempt and who make the cut at TPC Deere Run will earn a place in The 152nd Open in a fortnight.

The West Waterford man had a steady start with a birdie on the 13th before the kicked into gear with an eagle on the par-5 17th as he made the turn.

Three birdies in four holes from the first and another at the par-3 7th helped Power keep his hopes of a third Open appearance alive.

The two-time PGA Tour winner is just one shot behind Harry Hall who holds the all important second exemption spot.

Meanwhile, Springer became the fourteenth player in PGA Tour history to card a sub-60 round. The American carded eight birdies and a pair of eagles while he also chipped in for birdie on 17 and then holed from twelve feet for a closing birdie to card the magical 59.

“I don’t even really have words. Like I’m still shaking a little bit,” said Springer.

“Yeah, I mean, it’s like something you dream of, right? We all want to go out and shoot 59. You don’t ever really — I don’t know how many chances I’ll ever get at doing that again.

“To pull it off and hole that shot on 17 and give myself a putt at it and make the putt on 18 was pretty special.”

Springer was eight-under through nine holes and at that stage he began to think about making some history.

“Yeah, it was in my mind making the turn for sure. It’s almost like you feel like you have to at that point because you’re starting ahead making the turn to be able to do that.

“So I was definitely thinking about it, and then made some pars and kind of pulled it off at the end.”

Springer holds a two shot lead over Finland’s Sami Valimaki who is already exempt for Troon meaning the second spot would fall to Hall in a share of fourth place on eight-under-par.

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