Tuesday 17 September 2019

Silver lining for Power as storm clouds gather at RBC Heritage

Seamus Power. Photo: Getty Images
Seamus Power. Photo: Getty Images

Brian Keogh

Seamus Power could look on the bright side despite dropping four late shots in the second round of the weather-delayed RBC Heritage in Hilton Head.

The West Waterford man was one of the early finishers happy to escape an early afternoon storm that lashed Harbour Town Golf Links and forced organisers to suspend play for almost four hours.

The delay left Graeme McDowell and first-round leader Shane Lowry battling to complete as many holes as possible before darkness. But Power was safely back in his hotel recharging for the weekend after a one-over 72 left him five shots behind clubhouse leaders Dustin Johnson and Emiliano Grillo on two-under par.

World number one Johnson was relieved to be able to finish his round as the hooter sounded, as he stood over a tricky approach putt from off the green at the ninth.

"It was a difficult all day," said Johnson, who defied winds gusting to 30 mph and made five birdies in his 67 to lead by a shot with Grillo from Rory Sabbatini (69) and CT Pan (65) on seven-under.

"Luckily we could still play and finish the hole. It's nice to get done; that's definitely a bonus."

Ian Poulter shot a 67 that left him just two shots off the clubhouse lead, and he was relieved to finish as others were facing an early morning return to the course today.

"I'll be chilling at home," said Poulter, who finished just 20 minutes before play was suspended. "It's not an easy afternoon for those guys."

Matt Kuchar, a shot further back after a 69, added: "This is one of those days when you look forward to getting back on the couch and watching the guys deal with it."

Power was out first and would have been happier had he not come home in four-over 39 having surged into a share of the lead through six holes. He birdied the first and did well to limit the damage to a bogey at the third after being forced to take a penalty drop in the trees.

But he responded with three birdies in a row, knocking in a six-footer at the 181-yard fourth and a five-footer at the par-five fifth before sinking a 20 footer at the sixth.

He couldn't keep it going, however, and after a bogey at the 12th he badly pulled his tee shot at the 191-yard 14th and chipped through the green into the lake, running up a double-bogey five.

It ended with a bogey at the 18th, where his approach ran through the green, and he failed to get up and down for par.

Grillo made an albatross two at the fifth, his 14th, holing a two-iron hybrid from 254 yards, then birdied the ninth for his 67.

"It was a perfect shot," Grillo said of the second albatross of his career. "Perfect distance. Perfect everything. Perfect wind. It was one of those that was good, but you never expect it to go in."

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