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‘I am good enough to win a major’ – Seamus Power on a high after top 10 finish at PGA Championship


Seamus Power of Ireland plays his shot from the second tee

Seamus Power of Ireland plays his shot from the second tee

Seamus Power of Ireland plays his shot from the second tee

SÉAMUS Power jumped to a career-high of 40th in the world following his tie for ninth in the US PGA and insisted he has the game to win a major.

While he was initially disappointed to shoot a two-over 72 to finish just four shots outside a playoff at Southern Hills, the West Waterford man heads for the US Open and The Open believing he can be a contender for major glory.

Like Rory McIlroy, who got to within a shot of the playoff score on four-under with 13 holes of the final round to play, Power was left to reflect on what might have been.

But when he reflected on his play in Tulsa, the opportunities missed and the lessons learned, he had no doubt he has the tools to win at his level.

"Yeah, absolutely," the West Waterford man said. "I think if my game is on in a given week, I think I'm good enough to win.

"I always say this: if someone like Rory (McIlroy) goes out there and plays his best golf for four days, you are not going to win. He's going to win the tournament.

"But I feel like if I play my best golf for four days, there's very few guys who will be able to top me.

“So that's my thought process going forward.

"It's like anything; you need a couple of breaks. I didn't quite get them this week."

Power's title chances suffered a blow when he drove into the creek left at the second and ran up a double-bogey six.

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He would birdie the fourth, but his failure to take the few chances available on a tough course proved the difference between contending and finishing tied ninth.

"There are certain moments here and there," he said. "Even on two today, if the ball carries another yard, I've probably got a nine-iron into a par-four green versus dropping and hitting seven-iron for a third shot.

"That can make the world a difference, so if you get a week where your game is on, and you get a little break here and there, at some time I am going to be very close."

Taking stock of what he has achieved, rising 505th in the world less than two years ago to be the 40th best golfer on the planet and the ninth highest-ranked European, he's proud of what he has achieved.

"No, absolutely," he said. "I think every golfer initially you're always looking at the what ifs, but I also did a lot of good things.

"I am definitely going to look back on it in the very positive way. There are a lot of things to build on, and if I clean up a couple of things, I'll be good to go."

As for his final round, heading out in the third last group in just his eighth round in a major, he was disappointed his first major championship double bogey came at the worst possible time,

"Obviously, that's not the start you're looking for," he said. "I just kind of toed it into the wind, and it went a little lower. I should have had that covered, but it went too low and kicked back in. That was a rough way to start. I had some chances after that, but I missed a short one on 10. Those two mistakes really cost me. Besides that, it was a lot of good stuff. Played on the back side pretty well.

"It was frustrating, but after a tough start to hang in there, I guess it wasn't too bad. Overall that's a good week. This is only my second major. But to be in position at the start of the day you have higher hopes. I didn't play my best today, but everything on top of that to get a top 10, all said and done, I can't complain too much."

Having won on tour and contended several times since, he's getting used to pressure and will learn from this experience.

"I felt really good," he said. "Over the last year, I've been in some sort of contention regularly enough. That definitely helped in this situation and it's something to lean on. I know they haven't been majors, but you still learn some things to make you confident the next time.

"I think it was a lot of fun and kind of similar to Augusta. Obviously, two solid starts (in majors), and hopefully, this should get me in the next two majors, so something to look forward to as well."

Power was speaking as Mito Pereira was about to make six on the last to allow Justin Thomas to come from a shot behind him overnight to tie with Will Zalatoris and go on and win the three-hole playoff.

"I think the winning score is going to be 6-under," he said. "I can find those shots quickly enough. Even today I left three out there without even doing much and I had chances on 13 and 14.

"It doesn't take much for me to be four or five-under on the 17th tee and having a really good chance of winning. That's really very encouraging on a tough course where I really didn't quite have my best game but played well enough to hang in there.

"I made some nice putts (for par) on the last two, not under massive amounts of pressure, but still, you have the crowds and the roars. It's a different sound going around the course that made it very fun there.

Yeah, you're always disappointed coming off the course immediately, but overall I think I'll look back and be very satisfied getting a top 10 is good anytime, when you play in a major, it's a little bit better.

"I didn't quite hit the shots when I needed to.

Two, that's a perfect example. With a good one there, it's a short iron in and five, I didn't make birdie.

"Those ones are disappointing. On 13 I hit a good tee shot today, and that's the difference between shooting a couple under and a couple over out there. There are only so many chances, and you need to take those ones."