Thursday 22 August 2019

Power facing stiff test in quest to keep PGA Tour card

Seamus Power shot an opening six-under 64 at the Wyndham Championships. Photo: Getty
Seamus Power shot an opening six-under 64 at the Wyndham Championships. Photo: Getty

Brian Keogh

Seamus Power needs a hot weekend to keep his PGA Tour card after a major traffic jam developed in the Wyndham Championship in steamy Greensboro.

The West Waterford man needs a top-five finish at worst to make the top 125 in the standings who keep their privileges for next season and avoid a three-week battle for 25 cards at the Korn Ferry Finals.

But after opening with an impressive 64, Power's one-under 69 left him six shots behind clubhouse leader Byong Hun An on seven-under with the top 25 players on the leaderboard covered by just five shots.

It will see a trying weekend for Power, who followed a three-putt bogey at the first with back to back birdies at the third and fourth before running uo 10 frustrating pars in a row. He missed seven footers for birdies at the fifth and seventh but while he broke his par run with a birdie two from six feet at the 163-yard 16th, he drove into trees left at the 18th and made a costly bogey five

An's 65 gave him a one-shot lead over Brice Garnett with another six players tied for third on 11-under.

Canadian Adam Svensson, who came into the week ranked 171st in the FedExCup, fired a nine-under 61 to share third place with Patton Kizzire, Sunjae Im, Josh Teater, Webb Simpson and Mackenzie Hughes with Ryan Armour and English Ryder Cup star Paul Casey just a shot further back on 10-under.

With three-time major winner Jordan Spieth shooting 67 to get to nine-under, taking just 49 putts for the first two days, it's clear that a top-five finish is going to require some red-hot golf at a rain-softened Sedgefield Country Club.

Pádraig Harrington looked unlikely to be part of the action after a second round 69 left him outside the projected cut mark on three-under, despite chipping in for birdie on the last.

In the AIG Women's British Open, overnight leader Ashleigh Buhai extended her lead at Woburn.

The South African added a 67 to her opening 65 to lead by three shots from Japan's Hinako Shibuno in 12-under par.

Meanwhile, Gavin Moynihan and Cormac Sharvin have Sweden's Rikard Karlberg in their sights at the Vierumäki Finnish Challenge.

Karlberg leads by a shot on nine-under after a 69 at Vierumäki Resort, but Moynihan is lurking just three strokes off the pace after a 70 with Sharvin one stroke further back after a 69.

While Tullamore's Stuart Grehan missed the two-under cut by one stroke after a 74, Tramore native Robin Dawson chiselled out a 72 to make the weekend on the mark.

Irish golfers are also chasing in the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship at London Golf Club. Paul McGinley is just five shots behind Australia's Peter Lonard and Welshman Phillip Price at halfway after a three-under 69 left him tied ninth on six-under. Price shot 66 and Lonard a 64 to lead by one stroke from overnight leader David McKenzie of Australia on 11-under par. But Drogheda's Des Smyth could be pleased as he came within a shot of matching his age as he made an eagle and three birdies in a mistake-free, five-under 67 that left him tied for 30th on two-under.

Mark McNulty made the one-over cut by two shots after a 72, but Brendan McGovern and Philip Walton missed out after rounds of 78 and 81 respectively.

American Craig Davis beat compatriot Gene Elliott with a birdie at the third hole of a sudden-death play-off for the Senior Amateur at North Berwick after they finished on nine-under-par.

Belvoir Park's Frank O'Donoghue was 62nd on five-over after a 77.

Women's British Open,

Live, Sky Sports, 12pm

Wyndham Championship,

Live, Sky Sports, 7pm

Irish Independent

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport