Power Breaks Into World Top-50 After Share Of Third In Sony Open

Seamus Power has moved inside the world’s top-50 and the hopeful assurance of a Masters invitation following his third-place finish at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
Power’s superb new season form continues with a closing round of 65 for a 19-under-par tally on the Wai’akae course in Honolulu.
The West Waterford golfer was tied with American Kevin Kisner (64) and four adrift of Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama who pulled off the shot of the tournament in the play-off to defeat Russell Henley after each had ended regulation play tied at 23-under-par.
Matsuyama posted a closing 63 to Henley’s 65.
Matsuyama had come from two back at the start of the day, and also five adrift heading to the last nine, to defeat a  haemorrhaging Henley with a stunning 3-wood into the setting sun to three-feet for an eagle 3 at the first extra hole, the par-5 18th.
It is the Japan golfer’s eighth PGA Tour triumph.
Henley, winner the event in 2013, raced to six-under through nine holes but stalled horribly to play his closing nine in one-over.  He then took bogey in the play-off.  The American the copped plenty of ‘stick’ on Twitter for his slow play.
No such concern for Power who continues to impress after his break-through success last September.
Power’s effort in Honolulu has seen him jump 14 places to the new World No. 49 and with the top-50 at the end of March, and not otherwise exempt, earning an Augusta National invitation.

If successful in this goal of being inside the top-50, it will be the 36-year-old Power’s maiden major appearance.
Though Power was more delighted with thoughts of securing his place in the season-ending play-offs though not to August.
“Yeah, it’s great. You know, I don’t know how many points or anything I’ll get. I think I’ll have probably my spot in the playoffs locked up after this week”, he said.
“That’s a nice one. It’s by far the earliest I’ve ever had it locked up before so it’s kind of new territory for me.

“Yeah, the goal is to be in East Lake at the end of the year for the Tour Championship, FedExCup Playoffs. That goal doesn’t change after this week. It’s just kind of just adds a couple points to my total, but a long ways to go”

The now Las Vegas-based Irishman got the final round start he wanted with an opening pair of birdies to now be right in contention.
However it was not to the ninth that he grabbed a third birdie of the day before a dropped shot at 11.
Power bounced back with a brilliant 12th hole birdie from two-feet off the green and then a further 18-feet to the hole.
He stepped-up to his ball at 17 and sent
a 16-footer birdie putt into the cup while a two-foot birdie on 18 was Power’s fourth birdie at the last in as many days.
Having gone so close to a second Tour win, Power was understandably a little disappointed in his efforts.
“it was funny, it was kind of an up and down day”, he said. “It was poor today. I was a bit disappointed with it, but the putter kind of got hot, so it’s interesting. I mean, that’s golf sometimes, isn’t it?

“I feel like I didn’t miss a shot and couldn’t quite get putts going until the end, and today I made nice putts on 1, 2, 4, I don’t know, a few others in there, too, so it kind of kept me going.

“I feel like I balanced it out. Obviously I wasn’t able to get it going enough today to keep up with some of the guys there, but overall good week”

Power is heading back to the mainland to make it three in a row in teeing-up in Palm Springs in eastern California for the American Express.

“Yeah, I really enjoy playing there. Anyone who has been to Palm Springs in the winter, it’s beautiful”, he said.

“The grass is greener. Normally it’s perfect conditions. I mean La Quinta Country Club to me is the best condition course I think I’ve seen. It’s incredible.

I:really enjoy putting there. Yeah, as you said, a couple decent finishes there. Haven’t played for a couple years, so hopefully I can get it rolling again once I get back there”.

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