Power has strong hand with Tour card on line
Seamus Power needs just one more good week to regain his full PGA Tour privileges and get back to where he was 12 months ago.
The West Waterford man (30) finished 130th in the FedExCup points list in his rookie season, just outside the top 125 who secured exempt status for 2017-18 after last month's Wyndham Championship.
He has a second chance to regain his card by finishing among the top 25 in the Web.com Tour Finals money list after this week's $1 million Web.com Tour Championship at Atlantic Beach Country Club in Florida.
The event will determine the 50 players who receive PGA Tour cards for the 2017-2018 season and their place in the pecking order - the top 25 who have already earned cards via the Web.com Tour regular season standings and the top 25 money winners from the four-event Web.com Tour Finals.
As Power finished tied 13th, 40th and 17th respectively in the first three events, he lies a tenuous 19th in the standings with $37,650 with just the Tour Championship remaining.
He's vulnerable, especially if he misses the cut. But while the system makes the FedExCup algorithm look like child's play, a top-20 finish in Jacksonville on Sunday night should be enough for Power, who is just $9,780 ahead of 25th-ranked Cameron Percy heading into an event where the winner will take home $250,000.
"Hard to know exactly but the higher in the 25 (I finish), the better, so a good week needed either way," Power said when asked what he needs to do this week.
Despite his concerns, he estimates that after finishing 130th on the FedEx Cup list in his rookie season, he will get between 12 and 14 starts next year, even if he falls out of the top 25 on Sunday.
"It would be a little more scattered," he said of the worst-case scenario. "But I will get into a lot of events no matter what."
The good news is that he has shown that he has more than enough game, not only to make the top 25 and regain his card but to challenge for a second win on US soil following last year's breakthrough victory on the second-tier circuit.
The win all but earned him his card and he went on to earn $646,180 from 25 PGA Tour starts, making 19 cuts and recording one top-10 and four top-25 finishes, missing just six cuts.
Several poor weekends cost him dearly when he was contending for big finishes on courses he was seeing for the first time.
"It's all part of the learning curve," he said last month. "If you are in a big group near the end on the last day, there are a lot of rewards if you play well and it is difficult to block it out of your head."
This is a different kind of pressure as a top-five finish in Atlantic Beach would give him a strong PGA Tour card for next year.
But it won't be easy with the 129-strong field featuring 17 past PGA Tour winners, including Stuart Appleby (nine wins), Hunter Mahan (six) and two-time Major champion Angel Cabrera.