After securing a much-needed boost at The Players Championship, Seamus Power can kick-on this week at the Valspar knowing what he’s overcome in the past.
Although the headlines understandably landed on Rory McIlroy’s door following his victory at The Players Championship on Sunday, another Irishman achieved a win of sorts given the devilish start to the season that Seamus Power has endured.
Ireland’s proud Olympian put a shattering run of form behind him to post a day four 68 to end his week in Sawgrass in a share of 35th at five-under par. Prior to the TPC event, the 32-year old had made just two cuts from 11 starts this season and split from coach, Nick Bradley citing no light at the end of a tunnel that the pair had unknowingly dug themselves into.
What a difference a week makes.
The West Waterford golfer had previously played at an intervarsity tournament on the famed TPC layout when representing East Tennessee and perhaps it was by drawing on memories from fonder college days, coupled with a St. Patrick’s festival atmosphere that inspired Power to enjoy his golf once more.
The result gave Power north of 60,000 reasons to smile and more importantly, 16 FedEx Cup points as he looks to get his season on track, and the timing couldn’t be more perfect. With seven events upcoming in eight weeks, starting Thursday at the Valspar Championship, Power can continue his ascension back up the rankings after bursting back inside the top-400 in the world thanks to his Sawgrass display.
Despite playing the game with a metaphorical raincloud over his head so far this term, Power should be the first to recognise the solidity of the foundation upon which he can begin to rebuild. You only have to compare a similarly disappointing start to his 2015 season for reference, when Power played through real pressure on the Web.com Tour.
Back then, Power’s year finally came to life at the BMW Charity Pro-Am in South Carolina. An unforgettable hole-in-one on his 71st hole not only earned him his first top-10 finish, but also a brand new BMW X4, a car he held for a fleeting moment.
“You won it but you still had to pay taxes on it,” he told IGM. “It was going to be a huge tax bill and when I didn’t get my PGA Tour card at the end of the year, I figured I should downgrade and use the money a little more smart. I wish I’d have kept it now though.”
This week, Power was headed 320km on his four-hour+ drive south-east to Tampa to prepare for Thursday’s starting Valspar at the course famed for its ‘Snake Pit’ with no such financial fears, after holing another spectacular ace in Saturday’s third round, only this time against the deepest field in all of golf. You see, time and time again in his career to date, Power has been tested to the limit and come out the other side a better golfer for the experience.
From putting up his own money in the strenuous cash games of the E Golf Tour that stretched his purse strings to the limit, to grinding in anonymity on the unheralded Web.ComTour, the hard-slog is far from a new phenomenon for the Waterford slugger. The only difference this time is that he’s fighting from a winning position upon the PGA Tour already. And for that reason, it’s advantage Power…
Power gets underway at 17.58 alongside Sam Saunders and Charl Schwartzel while another Irishman in need of a strong performance, Graeme McDowell, tees off at 12.57pm alongside Nick Watney and Joaquin Niemann.
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