Sport Golf

Friday 24 May 2019

Power on course for Majors if revival continues

Seamus Power. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Seamus Power. Photo: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Seamus Power believes he will join the Irish armada competing in Majors if he continues his mid-season resurgence on the PGA Tour.

As Rory McIlroy admitted his chipping needs work ahead of next week's US PGA at Bethpage's testing Black Course, Power was upbeat after rubbing shoulders with some of the game's big guns for all four rounds in the Wells Fargo Championship.

"It was probably the first tournament I have played on the PGA Tour where I was in contention all week," said Power, whose tie for 13th moved him to 101st in the FedExCup standings but not far enough up a mini order of merit to qualify for his first Major next week.

"After a good, solid start, I was up there all the time, so that was encouraging. I've had high finishes before where I have had a good last round, but never really had a chance of winning.

"But this week, I was up there all week and in amongst it, playing with some of the bigger names. That's enjoyable and that's why you practise, to try and beat those guys. It was fun."

Power can still make it to Bethpage if he wins this week's AT&T Byron Nelson in Dallas.

But after holding his own against Jason Day and Paul Casey over the weekend in Charlotte, he knows the higher echelons of the game are well within his grasp.

"You think they are going to do stuff that is at a different level," he said. "But they just do things more regularly. It is not as if they are hitting unbelievable shots from 250 yards to five feet.

"They hit good shots and they hit good shots regularly, and they hit good shots under pressure. And that is what it is all about.

"I will keep trying to improve and do all that good stuff. The Majors and PGAs will happen if I can keep doing the right things."

As for McIlroy, his chipping and putting will be his major focus at home this week after a closing 73 relegated him to tied eighth at Quail Hollow.

"I was sort of in between two wedges a little bit and just sort of trying to get used to playing everything with a 60 again," said McIlroy, who put a 64-degree wedge in his bag for the Masters.

"So yeah, around the greens and on the green is probably the focus going into Bethpage."

As Paul Dunne, Gavin Moynihan and Michael Hoey play the British Masters at Hillside, Power is joined in Dallas by Pádraig Harrington, who is seeking sharpness for the US PGA after an injury-delayed start to his season.

Leona Maguire, meanwhile, opened with a six-under 66 to share the first-round lead in the 36-hole US Women's Open Sectional Qualifier at Druid Hills in Atlanta last night, where 69 players were battling for just two spots.

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