Seamus Power’s shot at redemption got off to a fine start in Ohio as Peter Uilhein secured his PGA Tour for next season. Power birdied his final three holes to claim a tie for 13th position at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship, the opening event of the Web.com Tour Finals.
Having missed out on the magic top-125 in the FedEx standings last month by just five places, Power was forced to take an alternative route in a bid to earn his PGA Tour playing privileges for next season.
The finals, a four series event that sees the top-25 finishers in the money list secure their cards for 2017/18, began in Ohio last Thursday, with Power’s strong finish on Sunday jumping him up 16 places on the final day. It was an encouraging start and something upon which to build.
The West Waterford man is no stranger to such pressure cooker golfing environments, having played the big cash game of the E Golf Tour before ever making it this far. In fact he played four years on the mini tours, a Rich Beem birdie blitz denying him his card in qualifying by a single stroke back in 2011. When he eventually earned his card for the Web.com in 2014, it was a case of do or die that year with his livelihood very much on the line.
“They were tough ones to swallow. 2014 was my fourth year playing mini tours and in hindsight, if that year hadn’t gone well I’m not sure how much more I would’ve played.”
Just as well things went to plan then because of the 25 events he played this year on tour, he made 19 cuts and earned $646,180 dollars. In other words, he’s no longer playing for his dinner. Having experienced so much in the most cut-throat of golfing environments, Power will undoubtedly have an edge over many of his competitors for the next three rounds of the series. That, coupled with the fact that Seamus has proven form in competing with the best players already this year leaves me with no doubt that he will cap off a fine rookie season with a top-25 finish.
The next event in the Finals Series is the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco, 14-17 September.
PETER GETS OVER THE UILHEIN
One man already guaranteed his card for next year is American Peter Uihlein following his victory at the opening series’ event. He shot a six under par 65 on Sunday to snatch a one shot victory over compatriot Ryan Amour.
Uilhein’s win, his first since his solitary European Tour title at the 2013 Madiera Islands Open, earns him $180,000, more than enough to guarantee him a place within the top-25 on the money standings.
A former World Number One Amateur, Uilhein, 28, decided to take the European Tour route in his quest to rise through the game. But injury struck on the back end of 2013 and he struggled to recapture the form that led him to a maiden Tour win. Even for one so young, it was a stark reminder of the fragility of our game, but having worked his way back with four top-10 finishes already this year, nobody will begrudge the American a thoroughly deserved victory.