Seamus Power remains primed to lock-in his PGA Tour card for next year’s season despite falling from contention with a closing hole double bogey on day two of the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis.
Power, 31 can continue to hold his head high in signing for a one-under par 69 which leaves him in a share of seventh place on six-under par.
It left the West Waterford only four shots behind former FedEx St. Jude winner, Dustin Johnson who warmed-up for next week’s U.S. Open in sizzling manner with a seven-under par 63 in the heatwave conditions on the TPC Southwind course.
‘DJ’ leads by one on 10-under from compatriots Ryan Blaum and Andrew Putman who each shot 64s
Power went into round two having secured a PGA Tour first in his career – leading a tournament – after posting an opening 65 and he was still on the practice range when Johnson ended his second round where he produced his lowest score of 2018.
The former World No. 1 needed just 24 putts in his round but then he did not need to use the putter on one of them as he holed his second shot from 116-yards out at the first (the 10th hole of his round) for an eagle ‘2’.
Power set off in his round also in sensational manner in birding three holes in succession from his second with the pick of the three being holing an 18-footer for birdie at the island-green par-3 11th that the Irishman was playing as his second.
His progress was checked with a bogey at his sixth but Power bounced straight back with a birdie at the next to get back to eight-under for the $US 6.6m Tennessee tournament.
Power then got a fantastic 30-foot chip-in for birdie from the back of the green at the par-4 fifth hole or the 14th of his round but then he dropped a shot, this time at his 15th to drop back to eight-under par.
Power, who currently lies 129th on the FedEx Cup points table, four spots from retaining Tour membership ahead of the Play-Offs, then parred his 16th and 17th holes before making a mess of the last and needing four shots to get up-and-down from 18-yards short of the flag in taking a ‘6’.
There was a bright note as regular caddy, John Rathouz was fit enough to take his place carrying Power’s PING clubs after illness forced a day earlier forced him to withdraw.
Meanwhile, Shane Lowry clearly benefited from a good night’s sleep as was evident in improving 56 places and he heads to day three in a share of 30th place following his ‘wide awake’ 67 and a one-under total.
“I had a full day’s rest from when I finished yesterday to teeing-up this afternoon so I just didn’t do anything as I was just shattered on the golf course yesterday,” he said.
“I’ve played a lot of golf recently including the 36-hole U.S. Open qualifier on Monday and it just took it out of me and that is the reason for my poor first round. But I felt so much better today as I was a lot more aware and a lot less tired.”
“It is great that all three of us are here for the weekend and is particularly good to see Seamus playing so well.”
By the three of us he is of course referring to Power and the third Irishman in the field, Padraig Harrington, who was playing alongside Lowry for the first two rounds and made it three from three in also making the cut with scores of 68 and 72 to just avoid the one-over par cut.
“It’s nice to see the Irish mafia are going well and we are all pretty happy,” joked Lowry when asked his reaction to all three Irish making the Memphis cut.