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Rory McIlroy hails Seamus Power’s ‘amazing achievement’ in breaking into the world’s top 50

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Séamus Power in action at the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii last week. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Séamus Power in action at the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii last week. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Séamus Power in action at the Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii last week. Photo: Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images

Rory McIlroy has praised Seamus Power's "amazing achievement" in breaking into the world's top 50 as the Irishman bids to secure a major championship debut in the Masters.

Power has finished fourth, 15th and third in his three most recent starts on the PGA Tour, with last week's performance in the Sony Open lifting him to a career-high 49th in the world rankings.

If the 34-year-old from Waterford can remain inside the top 50 until the March 28 deadline, he will earn a coveted place in the field at Augusta National, where McIlroy will be seeking the victory required to complete the career grand slam.

Power will contest The American Express event in California this week while McIlroy begins his 2022 campaign in Abu Dhabi.

"Seamus has done it a very different way than a lot of us have done it in terms of going to college in the States and then basically staying over there and doing everything on the PGA Tour," McIlroy said.

"But he's done fantastically well. He's played really well the last six months, he's really excelled and he's in the top 50 this week, which is an amazing achievement.

"There's so many avenues or ways to do it, but for him to it on the toughest tour in the world and the deepest fields, he's done it the hard way, I guess.

"I remember playing the Munster Under-15s with him so I've known Seamus for going on 20 years at this point. I'm happy for him, happy that he's playing so well and it will be great to see him play in some of those bigger events this year."

The American Express features a pro-am format for the first three rounds on three different courses, with the top 70 professionals then contesting the final round on the Stadium Course at PGA West.

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Si Woo Kim is aiming to become the first player since Johnny Miller in 1976 to successfully defend the title, but faces stiff competition from the likes of world number one and 2018 champion Jon Rahm.

Four years ago Rahm finished second to Dustin Johnson in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, skipped the following week's Sony Open and then beat Andrew Landry in a play-off for what was then called the Career Builder Challenge.

The Ryder Cup star will be hoping the same approach pays dividends this year after finishing runner-up to Cameron Smith in the Sentry and taking last week off.


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