Power in his element as a professional: “I don’t feel like I’m out of it”

Ronan MacNamara

Mark Power (Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Mark Power’s beaming smile now has an air of determination as he looks to sink his teeth into the weekend and make a charge at the Horizon Irish Open after a stellar opening to his professional career.

Sitting in a share of twelfth place at five-under-par after rounds of 68 and 71, with just one dropped shot in 36 holes the transition from amateur golf to the professional ranks has been seamless so far for Power who has now set his sights on chiselling at the eight-shot gap to Shubhankar Sharma at the top of the leaderboard.

“I think if I can get some more putts to drop, I can definitely chase. I don’t feel like I’m out of it. I feel like I could definitely go low, right now I’m just going to try and shoot as low as I can,” said the two-time Walker Cup star making his professional debut.


“I don’t have any number in mind but, maybe come Sunday afternoon, I’ll be thinking of something more specific.”

Power stole the show late on Thursday evening with a delicate eagle chip into the hole on 18 to provide the first of what he hopes to be many grandstand finishes of his career. Friday morning had less fireworks but still after birdies on 13 and 18 after a clumsy three-putt bogey on seventeen he completed his second nine in all pars.

“Yeah, I’m just trying to take it all in getting the start at my home open as my first professional event is crazy. I couldn’t really ask for anything better and to play the way I have, I haven’t had my best, but my iron play has really been good. It’s given me a lot of chances to score. I’ve only had one bogey over two rounds and it’s been pretty stress free.”

Power, the son of a three-time Irish Close winner (Eddie) played a starring role at the Walker Cup last weekend as a valiant GB&I effort came up just short against a star-studded USA but he finished with three points and as his side’s top scorer for the second time. A timely confidence boost.

“The last couple of years haven’t gone as well as I thought I could have. I felt like my game has been there I just haven’t got the results, but I really back myself and to see it come to fruition at St Andrews last week and this week again, I’m really confident that my game is progressing and it’s good to see. 

“It’s always been a dream of mine to be out here and I guess I do have goals to get my tour card and in the long run, try and play at the very top level. But, just take it one step at a time right now, play whatever opportunities I can get right now and just try and give myself the best opportunities to get that tour card.”

The 23-year-old Kilkenny man was handed a favourable draw to kick off his professional career alongside former Walker Cup and Wake Forest teammate Alex Fitzpatrick and Nicolas Colsaerts. Add to that the large and vocal support he gathered on Friday morning, it’s been a superb couple of days.

“Yeah, it really was like last week at the Walker Cup , everyone was behind us and I’m feeling the exact same kind of this week my home open, everyone’s behind me, willing each shot, living and dying with each shot it’s great and to know that I have that support. 

“But yeah, it’s very enjoyable and to be with Alex Fitzpatrick as well, one of my good buddies and it was a really nice couple days and Nicolas Colsaerts just want to give him a word, what a really nice guy. He is obviously legend of European golf, to be honest, and he was really nice to play with. 

I’ve lived with Alex in the last two years. Played alongside him the last three or four years and he is a good friend of mine. 

“We got on very well and he’s obviously had an excellent start to his pro career and it’s nice to see the confidence he’s playing with. He gave me a couple of tips here and there about kind of how he’s found the leap and I’ll try and just follow suit.”

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