When I realised that Seamus Power was competing at this week’s Safeway Open, I saw it going one of two ways; either he was going to storm the leaderboard free from the shackles of uncertainty surrounding his playing privileges and announce his return to the PGA Tour and the world by winning the tournament, or he was going to miss the cut, exhausted by the “the most stressful” experience he’s ever had on a golf course coming only a few days before. Unfortunately for the West Waterford man, it was the latter that prevailed.
Image from Golffile
But what of it! If you’d told Seamus with an hour to go at the Web.com Finals that he’d have to fly to the Napa Valley in California two days later to compete on the richest tour of all, I reckon he probably would’ve walked it barefoot. Sure didn’t his clubs not turn up at the airport – a traveling golfer’s worst nightmare as they stare at the empty carousel going ‘round and ‘round as horrid visions of rentals relics dampen their holiday spirits.
Not Seamus though, he didn’t so much as bat an eyelid. The PGA Tour probably forging blades from the hottest fires of the earth’s most sacred lands to apologise for the mix-up on his arrival. He was collected in a courtesy car at the airport too, no more dealings with Hertz and Avis on the dusty road – that’s when you know you’ve made it. ‘But how did he play already?’, I hear you scream. Well if we really have to go into it, then not all that pretty, but on the bright side, he has the weekend off to celebrate what he should’ve been toasting every night since Sunday.
Having opened with a stellar two under par round of 70, Power showed no ill-effects of the emotional washing machine that he’d climbed out of on Monday morning. Yet like that game of football after a six month absence, often it’s the morning after the morning after when your legs unapologetically stop working. A nasty pull off the 10th tee, Power’s first hole of round two, brought about a bogey five that set the tone for a difficult second day at the new office.
A particular damaging and extremely clumsy double bogey seven on the 16th was then followed by a six footer missed for par on 17 as Power slipped down the food chain, out in 40 wallops. He made the turn determined to turn things around but two birdies either side of another bogey left him on one over par, two shots outside the cutline as Power crash back to reality.
Oh no he didn’t…
There are times you reflect on a missed cut badly – often every time – but there’s ample reason to ignore this result and focus on a week where Seamus Power returned to the big time. There’s no doubt that he’ll need to hit the ground running to avoid the drama of Web.com Finals next year, but everyone’s allowed one bad week. Let’s hope Power’s came early.