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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Power again knocking loudly on a maiden PGA victory door

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Seamus Power continues to put himself in contention for a maiden PGA Tour victory as evident after two rounds of the inaugural Palmetto Championship in South Carolina.

Power will be out in the fourth last group on day three sharing fourth place after posting earlier scores of 70 and a superb second round five-under par 66 to be at six-under par and just five from the front with two rounds to play in the $US 7.3m event.

Power capped his second day’s play with six birdies up to and including the 15th before a first and only dropped shot at 17 but then ending with a big smile on his face in holing an 11-footer for a sixth birdie of his day.

“The birdie on 18 was the pick of my birdies and it was very nice, coming off that bogey on 17, a very nice 2-iron,” he said smiling.

“I left myself a good number. I was able to get a lob wedge there into probably 10-feet and knocked it in. A couple of good chances in back. I wasn’t leaving myself the easiest putts. Hit a great tee shot on a drivable one on 15, actually probably had 12 feet or so for eagle, just missed it low, but that was another nice one because it’s a hole that can go round.

“I also made a couple nice putts on the front. All in all, steady, good iron shots, made some putts, which is kind what you have to do to have a good round.

“It was definitely tougher out there today compared to yesterday as we played yesterday morning, and it was a lot more moist around the course.

“The greens were a little slower, a little softer. It didn’t seem that tricky. Right from the get-go where I started on the 1st hole today, we kind of knew we were in for a different challenge.

“I kind of figured out something with my irons on the range yesterday afternoon, so that was much better. I had a nice feel on the greens. All in all, a good day”.

Power emerged from the secondary KornFerry Tour and onto the golfing world stage when he partnered Padraig Harrington as Ireland’s 2016 Olympic Games representatives and this after the likes of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell chose not to travel to Brazil over fears for the Zika virus.

Power returned from the Olympics to secure his full PGA Tour card for the 2017 season but it’s only recently the 34-year-old Waterford golfer is starting to get his name near the pointed end of the PGA Tour events he’s been contesting.

And that was no more evident a fortnight ago when he remained in contention for all four days of the Charles Schwab Challenge before eventually sharing ninth place at Fort Worth in Texas,

“My game has felt good enough for a while. I had surgery in November, and I was just slow to come back from that. By the time I got to full practice, I’m already playing into tournaments,” he said.

“That’s been the biggest thing, being able to practice fully again, the body feels comfortable again.

“I got a little confidence there in a little stretch. Played well in Vegas in the Korn Ferry event and played well in Dallas. Yeah, so just trying to build on that”.

This weekend will mark the fifth tournament in succession Power will play all four rounds on the PGA Tour, and this after starting the 2020/21 wrap around season in missing five of six halfway cuts.

“Absolutely, I’m feeling more comfortable being up near the top of the board,” he said.

“Even when things are good in practice, it’s still just a little bit extra confidence to see it in the tournament, and even obviously it was the Korn Ferry event in Las Vegas that gave me a lot of confidence. I hit a lot of good shots down the stretch. I hit some confidence shots with a lot of wind and all that stuff.

“Really from there, I’ve been able to build on it, just knowing the stuff I have done to improve my game, it is working, and it’s just kind of a matter of time”

Power will tee off with Pat Perez in Round 3 at 18:50 today.

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