Seamus Power kept up his Ryder Cup bid as he ground out a top-15 finish last week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am despite not having his best stuff on his second PGA Tour start of 2023.
After a stint in the Middle East which took in the Hero Cup and the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Power was back at Pebble where he finished ninth while being in contention twelve months ago.
Onto this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open which boasts a $20 million purse, the West Waterford star is still on the bubble in the race for automatic qualification for Luke Donald’s European Ryder Cup side.
As it stands, Rory McIlroy (1,856.50 points) Jon Rahm (1,850.00 points), and Victor Perez (1,252.49 points) would claim the three automatic qualifying spots on the European Points List, with Viktor Hovland (59.98 points), Alex Noren (47.53 points) and Shane Lowry (45.18 points) currently sitting in the top three positions on the World Points List.
Justin Rose was snubbed by 2021 captain Pádraig Harrington as a wildcard pick for the last Ryder Cup but he firmly put himself on the radar for selection as he arrested a four-year winless run with a superb victory last week on the PGA Tour.
The triumph saw the five-time European Ryder Cup player become the first European to win the event while also jumping a staggering 97 places to ninth place on the World Points List with 39.31 points.
With the absence of Ian Poulter, Sergio García, Lee Westwood and Paul Casey from Rome in September more than likely at present, the winter period has seen the emergence of another crop of golden oldies and Rose is headlining that category.
Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren and Rose have all impressed in recent weeks and the Englishman had been trending with finishes of 9th, 29th, 26th and 18th either side of the New Year before his win.
Now 35th in the world rankings, the 2013 US Open champion will be afforded the opportunity to earn huge points in major championships and other elite events this year.
Rose would be a welcome addition on what is set to be an inexperienced European team in September at Marco Simone GC. A proven winner, major champion and bags of Ryder Cup experience winning 13 matches across his five previous appearances.
On paper, Rose emerging towards another Ryder Cup certainty as a captain’s pick might prompt worry in some of the minds of Power’s fans, but it could ultimately make the selection process easier for Donald who would surely opt for the Tooraneena man over the likes of Robert MacIntyre, the Hojgaard’s and Meronk given he has two PGA Tour wins.
Granted Power hasn’t won a big PGA Tour event – that could change – but his performances in major championships have proven that he can handle the big stage.
From a DP World Tour point of view, Adrian Meronk kept up the pace in the early Ryder Cup race with a T4 finish to move up to 10th on the European Points List.
Ras Al Khaimah winner Daniel Gavins rose 38 places to 18th in the European Points List.
Pádraig Harrington dropped two places to 48th.