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Power hopes US Open qualification proves a watershed as he makes fast start to Memorial – News – Irish Golf Desk


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Seamus Power hopes qualifying for the US Open could prove a watershed moment in his season after he birdied three of his last five holes to open with a 69 in the Memorial Tournament in Ohio.

The West Waterford star has yet to find top gear this season, but after making birdie at the last on Monday to qualify for next week’s test at Pinehurst No 2, he’s got high hopes that his luck could soon turn around.

“It feels great because I feel like I’ve been doing a lot of good things recently, but it hasn’t been adding up to the numbers I want,” said Power, whose 69 left him tied for seventh at Muirfield Village, just three shots behind Canada’s Adam Hadwin as Rory McIlroy birdied four of his last six holes for a battling 70.

“Even though US Open qualifying doesn’t count for FedEx points or anything, to make a 12-15 footer on the last was very cool. It just gave me a bit of confidence and it carried over into today.”

Power knows a good US Open performance can change a career, recalling how PGA champion Xander Schauffele finished fifth at Erin Hills as a rookie in 2017 and never looked back.

“Very much so,” Power said of what he hopes can be a turning point. “You know, it doesn’t take much in golf. 

“All of a sudden, things that were just lipping out or maybe just bouncing here or there, they go your way a little and things seem a lot easier. 

“It’s been an interesting year with some good things and other things just going a little sideways. Recently, it’s been getting better and better, so it was nice to see that on Monday and then to carry it over into today.

“You look back at Xander’s rookie season and that US Open finish springboarded him.

“Obviously, Xander is Xander. But that was still amazing to watch what he did with that after qualifying for the US Open.

“So that’s the goal. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

Hadwin shot a six-under 66 to lead by a shot from world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler with Schauffele tied for third with Collin Morikawa, Ludwig Aberg and Corey Conners after a 68.

Power shares seventh with defending champion Viktor Hovland, Billy Horschel, Akshay Bhatia and Tommy Fleetwood, and he was thrilled with his finish after a mud ball led to a bogey at the 13th that saw him slip back to level par.

After bouncing back with birdies at the 14th, 15th and 17th, he said: “It’s great because I was playing really nicely all day and then got a mud ball on 13 and made a disappointing bogey from the fairway.

“To turn it around straightaway was big because I said to (my caddie) Simon out there – every birdie here feels like a birdie and a half, to be honest. 

“It’s just tough, especially with this breeze, so any birdie you get is a bonus. To get three and last five turns a solid round into a very good one.”

McIlroy looked out of sorts early on and found water to bogey the par-five 11th and double bogey the 12th to slip to two over alongside Shane Lowry, who shot 74.

But he birdied four of his last six holes, rolling in birdies at the 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th to card a hard-fought 70 and share 12th place.

Lowry was one-under with seven holes to play but bogeyed the 12th, 14th and 17th for a 74 that left him tied 43rd.

While it’s a signature event, only the top 50 and ties and all those within ten shots of the lead will make the halfway cut.

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