Tuesday 17 September 2019

Power comes up short in bid to claim full status

Seamus Power. Photo: Getty Images
Seamus Power. Photo: Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Seamus Power came up short in his last-gasp bid to secure full PGA Tour status at the Korn Ferry Tour Championship but he can still count on up to 17 starts next term.

The West Waterford star (32) would have needed to shoot at least 61 to clinch the solo sixth place finish required to make the top 25 in the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Points List and win one of 25 full cards.

But despite making eight birdies at Victoria National Golf Club in Newburgh, he had four bogeys and a triple-bogey eight in a one-under-par 71 that left him tied 52nd in the clubhouse on three-under-par and projected 85th in the points race.

The Tooraneena man, who has won $2.2 million in prize money in three seasons on the PGA Tour, still has conditional status for next week's start to the 2019-20 season having finished 144th in the FedEx Cup standings.

While he can improve his status by winning an event, players ranked between 126th and 150th in the previous year average between 15 and 17 PGA Tour starts each season.

Power had a fraught 2018-19 campaign marked by a mid-season coaching change, mixing top-six finishes with 14 missed cuts from 27 PGA Tour starts, followed by two costly missed cuts from three at the Korn Ferry Tour Finals.

Meanwhile, Holywood's Tom McKibbin (16) is set to become the youngest Irish men's international since Rory McIlroy when he plays next week's Home Internationals at Lahinch.

McIlroy made his Home Internationals debut aged 16 years, four months and three days at Royal St George's in 2005 having become the youngest winner of both the West of Ireland and Irish Close titles.

Boys star McKibbin will be just four months older when he tees it up at the Co Clare links from September 11-13, but he's already on a similar trajectory to the world number two.

Impressed

A former winner of the Junior Honda Classic, who is set to join the University of Florida on a scholarship in 2021, he impressed with a season that included wins in the Peter McEvoy Trophy and the prestigious Junior Invitational at Sage Valley in the US.

He is one of four new caps bidding for a fifth Irish Home Internationals win in six years alongside Robert Brazill (22) from Naas, Carton House's Keith Egan (26) and Malone's Matthew McAlpin (26).

Co Sligo's Sean Flanagan, now playing out of Portmarnock, and Warrenpoint's Colm Campbell return to the side alongside Walker Cup trio James Sugrue, Caolan Rafferty and Conor Purcell, the Irish Close champion Ronan Mullarney and Massereene's Tiarnán McLarnon.

Irish Independent

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