Given the extremely low scoring expected over the weekend at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Seamus Power’s hopes of notching a third PGA Tour title at the Sentry Tournament of Champions appear to be slim after he fell seven shots behind Collin Morikawa at the halfway stage in Hawaii.
Power lost ground despite shooting a four-under 69 as he moved to nine-under-par but he is way back in the pack in 12th place as Morikawa edged two clear of Scottie Scheffler and JJ Spain on sixteen-under after a 66.
The Waterford native started well with three birdies in his first seven holes but went on a barren run of six pars in a row before he compounded that run by arresting it with a dropped shot on 14.
He responded with birdies on 15 and 17 but seven shots is a mammoth advantage to claw back from Morikawa who ironically is only in the field by virtue of his 2022 FedEx Cup ranking having not won a tournament last year.
Power looks set to lose his number one FedEx Cup ranking from here.
Two-time major winner Morikawa is yet to drop a shot thus far as he looks to end his winless run.
“Just similar to yesterday, pretty solid, made some good putts. Obviously it played a lot harder with kind of the wind, and just the fairways rolling pretty fast, you end up in a lot of spots where you’re just going to end up in the rough. 1, 13, 10, even. It’s just going to happen.
“You just got to play shots and kind of hit ’em to good spots and thankfully we were able to take advantage of enough holes today to kind of keep those birdies going.”
The American put in the hard yards with Shane Lowry’s putting coach Stephen Sweeney over the off season and it has paid dividends as he leads the field in strokes gained putting so far.
“I worked with Stephen a couple weeks ago, right after Christmas. We just talked a lot and kind of went on this path of just trying to get good speed and it’s kind of worked into everything on how I’m reading them and how I’m going through the motions there.
“I would say in the four, almost four years I’ve been out here, I’ve never leaned on one person. I just kind of sit back and listen. It’s hard because everyone does something different and everyone’s doing it differently, right, but for me, it’s just kind of you just want to listen and just learn about how much you can do it and try.
“Putting’s been really fun because now I’m excited to have my putter out and I’m excited to putt, even from the first time we started putting, because it was like something new. It was like a kid just going out and having fun. But I’m sure that’s how short game will kind of end up. And that’s how hitting has been right now this week, too, is just these feels have just been, it’s been fun because it’s kind of, it clicks and you know where you’re at and just kind of go from there.
“What’s cool is that I’ve had weeks, short little stints, of having putting like that, right? But I mean, it’s felt good since Mayakoba, which has been the first week we worked with, that I’ve worked with Stephen. And it’s just every time I talk to him, we just kind of build and layer that off of.
“I’m sure we’ll hit a point where it’s like, You remember what you did back in this spot? Let’s just go back to that. But right now, we’re just piecing together and just kind of layering things. And what’s been really cool is that, I think where we’re at right now, and I’ve seen it through two rounds, is that we’re at a good spot where I’m just kind of free on the golf course, just not worrying about much, just going out and putting, and I think that’s what some of the best putters say. They just go out and hit the putt and know it’s in,” added the world number eleven.