Power four adrift of leaders after rusty start in Hawaii

Ronan MacNamara
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Seamus Power with Simon Keelan in Hawaii. (Photo by Tracy Wilcox/PGA TOUR via Getty Images)

Seamus Power hopes his sloppy mistakes haven’t left him too far adrift of the leaders despite opening his Sentry Tournament of Champions with a five-under par round of 68.

Understandably undercooked in his first outing of the year, Power sits four shots off the lead held by Collin Morikawa, Jon Rahm and JJ Spaun, while Tom Kim is a shot further back in fourth place.

Four shots shy with 54 holes to go doesn’t sound like much but given the low scoring nature of the Plantation Course in Kapalua, yet 68 feels more like level par than five-under.

“Yeah, kind of a sloppy one kind of to start the year off,” reflected Power. “To be honest, a lot of mistakes, a lot of poor shots, but I did make a couple putts to kind of hang in there a little bit.

“Obviously you’re practicing and stuff, but it’s never quite the same as it’s going to be in tournament play. But overall, hopefully I didn’t shoot myself out of it. So ups and downs, a lot to work on.”

It was a stumbling finish for the West Waterford man who played his last six holes in level-par including failing to get up and down for birdie from just short of the par-5 18th.

The 35-year-old started slowly with a bogey on the 2nd but responded with three successive birdies and then a brace either side of the turn before a birdie on 12 moved him to within one of the lead.

Frustratingly for him, that’s where he remained as dropped shots on 13 and 17 cancelled out birdies on 14 and 15 and Power admitted that mentally he was a little rusty.

“I think just a little bit of everything, just kind of mentality maybe around the greens and stuff like that. But it’s nothing in particular. It’s just kind of getting back into the routine and getting into the focus and all that kind of stuff that you were kind of used to doing once you get going into the season.”

Meanwhile at the summit, Morikawa posted a career-best six consecutive birdies to grab a share of the early lead with a 64 alongside Rahm and Spaun.

“It was the game plan today,” said Morikawa who is only in the field after finishing in the top-30 in last season’s FedEx Cup. “It was just to go out and be patient and give yourself opportunities. Beginning of the week the prep felt great. Didn’t really see many putts go in. It was nice to see one go in on 4 from like 30 feet. That just kind of got the round propelled from there.

Both Morikawa and Spaun were bogey-free in their rounds while Rahm’s only blemish came on the 14th.

The Spaniard got off to a flying start, making the turn in 31 courtesy of three birdies and an eagle on the par-5 5th hole. Birdies followed on the 10th and 12th holes before he recovered from a bogey on 14 with three birdies in four holes to finish.

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