Sunday 20 October 2019

Seamus Power surges into top-10 as Shane Lowry comes up short in RBC Heritage

Shane Lowry and his caddie are caught in a small sand vortex on the fairway of the fifth at the RBC Heritage yesterday. Photo: Joshua S. Kelly USA Today Sports
Shane Lowry and his caddie are caught in a small sand vortex on the fairway of the fifth at the RBC Heritage yesterday. Photo: Joshua S. Kelly USA Today Sports

Brian Keogh

Shane Lowry came up short in his bid for a second tour win of the season as Seamus Power took a big step towards retaining his PGA Tour card with a top-10 finish in the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head.

Just a shot behind world number one Dustin Johnson starting the day, Lowry closed with a one-under 70 to finish tied for third with Patrick Cantlay and Scott Piercy on 10-under par.

Chinese Taipei's CT Pan came through the field, carding four-under 67 to win his maiden PGA Tour title by one stroke from Matt Kuchar, who shot 67, on 12-under par.

After briefly moving two shots clear after birdies at the second, fifth and sixth, Lowry was shocked to miss a three-footer for par at the ninth before a double bogey six at the 12th, where he took four to get down from 35 yards left of the green, all but scuppered his title chances.

He fought back with a birdie from 30 feet at the par-three 14th but needing birdies at his last two holes to catch the nerveless Pan, he had to hole his 180-yard approach to the 18th to tie. He missed the green and had to settle for his first top-10 finish since his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship win in January.

Overnight leader Johnson slipped to a disappointing 77, dropping seven shots in a nightmare five-hole stretch from the 11th to finish on four-under.

But Power was thrilled to take "a step in the right direction" in his bid to retain his PGA Tour card as he closed with a four-under 67 to finish tied sixth on nine-under, clinching his first individual top-10 finish for 13 months.

Standings

Ranked a lowly 189th in the FedExCup standings after missing 11 of his first 15 cuts this season, the West Waterford star (32) was projected to move up to 141st. The top 125 will keep their cards at the end of the season.

"I didn't make too many mistakes and my short game was pretty good all week," said Power, who turned in two-under par by following birdie fours at the second and fifth and a bogey at the 331-yard ninth.

"I made one bogey on one of the easier holes, which was disappointing but overall it was a tricky day so I can't complain too much."

After birdies at the 13th and 15th, he made a 60 footer for his fifth of the day at the 16th and then closed with solid pars that give him confidence for the rest of the season.

"I can take a lot from this," said Power, who missed seven cuts in a row either side of Christmas.

"The last four or five tournaments have been much, much better. I started to find something at The Players (tied 35th) and it's been encouraging.

"A week like this is great. It gets me kickstarted. I'm obviously not where I want to be but it's a step in the right direction."

Graeme McDowell, the 2013 champion at Harbour Town Golf Links, three-putted the 18th from just 12 feet for a double-bogey six and signed for a two-over 73 that left him joint 48th on one-over par.

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