Saturday 17 March 2018

Who is Seamus Power? Here's everything you need to know about Ireland's golfing underdog

Seamus Power. Photo: Sportsfile
Seamus Power. Photo: Sportsfile

Jake O'Donnell

After a 112 year interval, the sport of golf made a long awaited-return to the Olympics today.

After Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry all ruled themselves out of Team Ireland over concerns about the Zika Virus, seasoned pro Pádraig Harrington and the relatively unknown Séamus Power were the ones left sporting the green golf bags on the Olympic Golf Course.

Although Power is a name unfamiliar to the majority of Irish golf fans now, he has been making progress on the Tour in America and is one for the future

Power, a Waterford native, is aged just 29, making him teammate Harrington’s junior by 15 years.

At the age of 12 he became a member of West Waterford Golf Club and a regular competitor in Irish youth tournaments against junior golfers such as Lowry and McIlroy. More than capable of holding his own, Power won three Irish Youth titles, also finishing runner up another year.

After his successes as a youth and junior, Power received a scholarship to play college golf in the East Tennessee State University.

In 2010 he graduated with a first class honours degree in accounting and also added two Atlantic Sun Conference Championships in 2007 and 2010 to his mantlepiece.

He turned pro in 2011 and achieved two wins on the now defunct eGolf Professional Tour in 2014.

Through qualifying school, Power earned himself a 2015 card for the developmental tour of the PGA Tour, the Tour.

May 2016 saw him become the first Irishman to win on the Tour when he won the United Leasing and Finance Championship -  also pocketing himself $108,000.

Power continues to golf on the Tour, which is able to boast graduates such as two-time major winner Zach Johnson and 2016 PGA champion Jimmy Walker.

Power will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of Johnson and Walker by reaching the PGA tour eventually, and his Olympics experience and chance to learn from teammate Harrington will only work to serve his development.

He goes into the Rio games lying 295 in the world and on the back of a respectable 16th place finish at the Ellie Mae Classic at Stonebrae. A man who has shown himself more than capable of winning and competing with the best, he walks up to the tee box with no pressure or expectancy on his shoulders and just maybe that will suit him.

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