Between a combination of high-profile Rio absentees and the recent (much welcomed) solid play from Padraig Harrington, Ireland’s other male representative has been slipping under the nation’s radar.
Currently making his living on the second-tier Web.com Tour, the world number 294 – a Waterford native – is far from a household name at the minute. However, thanks to his current form stateside, it is only a matter of time before all that changes.
Seamus Power, who has not been judgmental towards the players who have pulled up before him, claims that this is a “no-lose” situation and is thankful for the opportunity to represent his country. He told Newstalk Breakfast last month:
“I can’t really criticise anyone for pulling out. If they didn’t, I wouldn’t be in. I’m over the moon about it.”
So it looks like this could be the makings of another potential Irish golfing underdog story, following in the footsteps of last year’s near-miracle by Paul Dunne at The Open Championship and Shane Lowry’s historic 2009 Irish Open triumph as an amateur.
But if you thought that Power, who developed his skills at West Waterford Golf Club outside Dungarvan (also home to European Challenge Tour regular Gary Hurley) isn’t someone to get excited over – think again.
Believe it or not, Seamus Power has all but confirmed his spot on the PGA Tour next year.
Yes, that’s right. He will likely be teeing it up with the likes of Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth later this year when the new season kicks into life.
Currently sitting in 9th position on the Web.com order of merit, after accumulating $192,881 in 2016 so far, Power just needs to stay inside the top 25 to earn him the highly-coveted full PGA Tour membership card for 2017.
A considerable amount of his total earnings this year came when he wrote a new chapter in Irish golfing folklore, becoming the first man from his homeland to win a Web.com tour event in early May. His maiden victory, coming at the United Leasing & Finance Championship, saw him bring home an impressive $108,000.
What bodes well for Power’s PGA Tour chances is the fact that the 25th player to earn his playing rights on golf’s most elite tour only managed $162,070 in 2015. The Irishman has already surpassed that figure by 30 odd thousand with a quite a few weeks to go.
Power didn’t go about his journey, aimed for a seat at golf’s top table, in the most traditional manner for an Irishman. He went the American collegial route representing East Tennessee State University before patiently gathering various touring experiences which may be why he has slipped under most people’s noses.
Now that you know more about him, only two questions remain. Will his inevitable fame come in the form of sport’s greatest honour in Rio? Or will we just have to remain patient and wait a few short months?
Brein McGinn, Pundit Arena