Wednesday 21 August 2019

Power seeks Rocket launch ahead of Tour card battle

Having kept his card by the skin of his teeth last year, a third missed cut in four starts, and a 14th this year, could see Power (pictured) fall out of the all-important top-125 with just five weeks of the regular season remaining. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Having kept his card by the skin of his teeth last year, a third missed cut in four starts, and a 14th this year, could see Power (pictured) fall out of the all-important top-125 with just five weeks of the regular season remaining. Photo: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Seamus Power must step on the gas in Motor City today after opening with a 73 in the Rocket Mortgage Classic at Detroit Golf Club.

One of the big local attractions for next week's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open at Lahinch, the West Waterford star (32) knows he could quickly find himself entangled in another battle to keep his card if he missed the cut.

Ranked 122nd in the FedEx Cup standings, he three-putted the 18th for double-bogey six to trail early leader Nate Lashley by 10 strokes.

Having kept his card by the skin of his teeth last year, a third missed cut in four starts, and a 14th this year, could see Power fall out of the all-important top-125 with just five weeks of the regular season remaining.

Lashley (36) made nine birdies in a nine-under 63 to lead by two shots in the clubhouse from Charles Howell III and Talor Gooch, taking just 23 putts to Power's 32.

Paul Dunne, Gavin Moynihan and Michael Hoey also have work to do to make the cut in the Andalucia Masters at Valderrama, where Sergio Garcia made a fast start in his bid for an incredible fourth successive win there.

The Spaniard has been in poor form recently, missing three of his last four cuts, but he loves Valderrama and shot a five-under 66 to lie just a shot behind Frenchman Victor Perez as Irish Open-bound Jon Rahm posted a 69.

"I love this place, there is no doubt about that," Garcia said. "It kind of has something with me that helps me . . . It's probably the best that I've felt in quite a while."

He's tied for second place with American Sihwan Kim, Swede Anton Swe Karlsson, South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Malaysia's Gavin Green. But it was a tough day for the Irish with Moynihan tied 73rd after a 73 as Hoey shot 74 and Dunne a 75.

Tramore's Robin Dawson was the best of the Irish raiders in the Italian Challenge Open, chiselling out a one-under 71 to lie five adrift of South Africa's Bryce Easton and Spain's Carlos Pigem at Terre dei Consoli.

But after shooting 12 rounds in the 60s and racking up three top tens in his last four starts, Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin posted a 74 to share 92nd with Derry's Ruaidhri McGee as Bangor's Daniel Peacock shot 75 and West Waterford's Gary Hurley a five-over 77.

Darren Clarke was among the later starters in the US Senior Open at Warren GC in Indiana, where David Toms made ten birdies in an eight-under 62 to lead by two from Kirk Triplett.

In amateur golf, Dundalk's Caolan Rafferty's two-over 74 left him tied 10th, five shots behind England's Harry Hall on three-under at the halfway point in the European Amateur Championship at Diamond Country Club in Austria.

Massereene's Tiarnan McLarnon powered to a joint best of the day 68 to lie a shot further back in 19th with Kilkenny's Mark Power joint 32nd on one-under after a 76.

Andalucia Masters, Live, Sky Sports, 11.0am
Rocket Mortgage Classic, Live, Sky Sports, 8.0pm

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