Mark Power is no stranger to playing in the Horizon Irish Open but his fourth start in the event will mark the beginning of what he hopes will be a long and successful professional career.
Widely expected to make the grade at DP World Tour level, Power turned professional on Sunday after finishing as top scorer for Great Britain and Ireland in the Walker Cup – the second time he has done so – and he believes his previous experience in professional events will help him make the early transition from amateur to pro golf.
“Really looking forward to the week, had a great week last week at the Walker Cup but it’s nice to turn pro and I’m very grateful to Horizon for giving me the invite and just really excited to get going,” said the Kilkenny man who will tee it up with European Vice-Captain Nicolas Colsaerts and former Wake Forest and GB&I teammate Alex Fitzpatrick.
“I’ve played in a few Irish Opens before and some pro events before so I feel more accustomed to it than some other guys making the leap so I feel comfortable. I won’t big it up to be anything crazy but there is a lot at stake for me this week, I don’t want to play any different just stick to what I have been doing and see where it leaves me,” added Power who made the cut on his debut in Galgorm Castle, 2020.
“I spent the start of the week getting the energy levels up, went out and walked the front nine yesterday and did chipping and putting, there is definitely some thick rough but the fairways look to be fiery enough so I think just keep it in the short grass. I know the course very well, I have played here a bunch.”
The 23-year-old cut a tearful figure after birdies on 17 and 18 saw him beat Dylan Menante 1UP at the Old Course for his third point out of four in what was a fitting end to a glorious amateur career.
Despite coming out on the wrong side of the result as a team, Power is mentally refreshed and taking confidence from his fabulous singles finish into the K Club this week.
“It was unreal, the Walker Cup was class but to have it at St Andrews was special. It will be hard to top the emotions I felt out there on the golf course, it was amazing to have the fans so close and we really felt the support behind us,” said Power, decked from head to toe in Under Armour gear.
“It was a shame we didn’t get the job done but to birdie 17 and 18 at St Andrews in the Walker Cup gives me a bit of confidence that I can produce the goods under pressure and as much as it was disappointing not to get the win with the lads at the weekend I have some confidence coming into this week and hopefully I can do something and keep that going.”