Seamus Power roared into contention for his maiden PGA Tour victory at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit yesterday with the West Waterford man following his opening 67 with a six-under 66.
Power set the early pace alongside Matthew Wolff (64), Mark Hubbard (66) and Bryson DeChambeau (67) on 11-under par after a scintillating display off the tee and was one shot of the lead of Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson.
Driving accuracy, not power, has been a problem area, but yesterday he hit 11 drives more than 300 yards and found 10 of 14 fairways in regulation.
The only Irishman in the field, Power nailed six birdies in his round, including a 45-footer on the second, as he chases a first PGA title and a winner's cheque for $1.35m (€1.2m)
"I'm pleased with it," Power said. "I didn't quite have my A-game, I guess, but I was able to manage it pretty well and then hit some good shots at kind of the right time, so overall I'm pretty pleased.
"I got a nice kind of long putt on number 2 to get going and that kind of settled me down a little bit and I was able to go on from there."
After that monster putt, Power also birdied the third and the seventh to hit the turn in 33.
Back-nine birdies on the 10th, the 13th and the 14th, followed by a blemish-free finish, left Power in a strong position at the halfway mark in an event where a top-10 result would open up a slot in Ohio's Workday tournament next week.
"I knew I liked the golf course as soon as I got here last year, so I was kind of keeping that in mind more than how I played last year," added Power, who missed the cut in Detroit last season.
"You know, it's a course, if you can drive it well, you're going to have plenty of chances, you can reach some par-fives, you have some wedges. So that was kind of a big focus on Tuesday, Wednesday, trying to make sure the driver's in as good a spot as possible. "
Asked if he considers this his peak time of season, he said: "I think normally, but obviously with what's happened in the last whatever, four, five months, I think that's kind of thrown things out the window."
Rocket Mortgage Classic
Live, Sky Sports, 6.0pm