Friday 17 January 2020

Power lights up the leaderboard with sizzling seven-birdie blitz

WGC-HSBC Champions Sky Sports 4, 4.0am; Sanderson Farms Championship Sky Sports 4, 7.30pm

Jack Hume
Jack Hume

William S Callahan

Irish Olympian Seamus Power from West Waterford made an impressive start to the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson, Mississippi yesterday.

Power, 29, who graduated to the full PGA Tour from the Web.Com Tour, shot a bogey-free 65 to take the joint clubhouse lead with American Trey Mullinax on seven under par.

That put them a shot ahead of Lucas Glover, Camillo Villegas and Japan's Hiroshi Iwata.

All of these early starters took advantage of ideal golf conditions, albeit in temperatures above 80 degrees, to put down a marker for the rest of the field.

This was just the tonic Power needed after his debut as a full member of the PGA Tour ended in disappointment two weeks ago when he missed the cut by a shot at the Safeway Open.

Cool, calm and collected, he maintained a solid tempo as he started birdie, birdie.

The Irishman tacked on three more birdies in quick succession from holes nine through 11 to reach five under par.

Hole 13 proved lucky where again he slotted a long putt for a two on the 168-yard par-three.

He finished with a flourish with his seventh birdie of the day at the 15th, and reeled off three pars to close out the day.

Power has worked hard to earn his playing rights on the richest circuit in the world, and the most competitive.

Speaking to PGA he said: "I'm not finished yet. I've got more goals I want to accomplish. Growing up you obviously dream of winning majors, you dream of winning tournaments, but you can't do any of those unless you get to the PGA Tour.

"It's not an easy place to get to, there's not a lot of cards available. To get there, it's huge," he said.

Meanwhile Jack Hume , who turned pro just a few weeks ago, is sampling life on Tour via the Ras Al Khaimah 2016 Golf Challenge in the United Arab Emirates.

Hume followed his opening 67, with 70 yesterday for a seven under par 137.

The Naas man headed the Irish challenge at the Al Hamra GC, and despite a cohort of players tucked in ahead of him on the heels of leader Romain Langasque, Hume was only four shots off the top place with 36 holes left to play.

Belgian Langasque carded 67, moving the dial at the head of the tournament to -11.

Cormac Sharvin (67) and Chris Selfridge (72) were among a group of 12 players bracketed on three-under par.

There was no joy for Waterford native Gary Hurley who shot 70 but missed the cut.

Irish Independent

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