Monday 15 October 2018

Seamus Power keeps PGA Tour card by skin of his teeth as Sergio Garcia falters down the stretch

Seamus Power
Seamus Power

Brian Keogh

Seamus Power kept his PGA Tour card by the skin of his teeth but Graeme McDowell joined Shane Lowry and Pádraig Harrington in losing his at the Wyndham Championship in Greensboro.

While Power joined Harrington and Lowry in missing the cut, results went his way and he finished 125th in the FedEx Cup standings to clinch the final spot in the first Playoff event, the Northern Trust in New Jersey this week which Rory McIlroy has opted to skip.

McDowell failed to secure the top-five finish he needed, closing with a 67 to finish tied 57th on six-under and 144th in the final FedEx Cup standings.

Lowry and McDowell will have conditional status and limited starts in 2019 and Harrington can use a one-off career-money winner's exemption.

But Power (31) will have full status after Sergio Garcia crucially failed to secure the top 20 finish he needed to make the Playoffs for the first time in his career.

The West Waterford man came into the week ranked 123rd but after he missed the cut at Sedgefield Country Club, he was reliant on a series of results going his way to avoid a final event KO for the second year running and a return to the Tour Finals to fight for his card.

In the end, only Nick Taylor (63 for tied eighth) and Harris English (68 for tied 11th) managed to pass Power, who ended up 125th.

The key was Garcia, who bogeyed the 10th, 12th and 14th and gave European Ryder Cup skipper Thomas Bjorn little to cheer about, carding a level par 70 to finish tied 28th on 12 under and 128th in the FedEx Cup standings.

As for the tournament, Brandt Snedeker (37) turned his opening 59 into a ninth tour win, closing with a birdie for a 65 and a three-shot win on 21-under par from Chinese Taipei's CT Pan (66), who drove out of bounds when tied for the lead playing the 18th, and Webb Simpson (62).

On the European Tour, England's Paul Waring beat South Africa's Thomas Aiken with a par-five at the first extra hole to win the Nordea Masters and his maiden title in his 200th start.

Both fired two-under 68s to finish on 14-under at Hills Golf Club in Gothenburg before Aiken drove into the water on their return to the par-five 18th and bogeyed.

On the Challenge Tour, a dramatic late collapse from Scotland's Scott Henry handed compatriot Calum Hill the Galgorm Resort and Spa NI Open, presented by Modest! Golf.

Four shots behind Henry and France's Victor Perez overnight, Hill (23) shot a seven-under 64 to set a 19-under par target that proved good enough for a one-shot win.

Henry finished double-bogey, bogey, bogey for a 69 to tie for second with Wales' Stuart Manley, who shot 68.

"I can't believe it," said Hill who eagled the 336-yard par-four second as he went out in two-under before storming home in five-under 31 with four birdies in his last five holes.

Ardglass' Cormac Sharvin (67) tied for ninth on 14-under-par, earning €3,960 as well as the new Bridgestone Trophy and a cheque for £250 as the leading Irish player under-30.

On the Staysure Tour, Ronan Rafferty's hopes of winning his maiden senior title were dashed when he suffered a back injury while warming up for the final round of the VTB Russian Open Golf Championship and was forced to withdraw.

The former European number one (54) was in a four-way tie for second place overnight, just two strokes behind Wales' Phillip Price.

David Shacklady secured an emotional victory at Moscow Country Club as a final round 69 gave him a two-shot win over Welsh duo Stephen Dodd (71) and Price (73) on eight-under-par.

Headfort's Brendan McGovern (77) had two triple bogey sevens in his first three holes as he finished 25th on two-over.

Irish Independent

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