2022 could be the year of the Power

by Ronan MacNamara  

Seamus Power by Golffile

Seamus Power broke into the top-100 in the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time on Sunday night after a 21st place finish at the Shriners Children’s Open.

That might not seem much but on our little speck of land between England and the US - two countries that constantly churn out meaningless journeymen - to have just our 16th golfer break into the top-100 is something to smile about.

Ireland has a wonderful golfing history, but just sixteen golfers have made it inside the top-100, 16.

At 34 years of age, Power is coming into what is commonly known as a golfer’s prime years. While he won’t be one of the class acts in the golfing pyramid, breaking into the top-50 and becoming a mainstay there for the next five years is not beyond the realms of possibility.

Not the longest by any means, he is a stellar iron player – ranking 2nd in approach and 8th tee to green last week – he has a short game to die for even if it was a little off key at the Shriners.

The Jamie Vardy rags to riches story in English football is one that brings a smile to every football fan around, well we might just be witnessing our own rags to riches story – relatively speaking, if you make a stack of top-20s you will become a millionaire – if Power can continue his rise up the world rankings.

The Waterford man has had it tough as a professional, coming through several mini tours while attempting to make it on the Tour (now the Korn Ferry Tour).

He first came onto Irish screens at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016 after becoming the first Irish player to win on the Tour.

Winning is winning, and even though the field at the Barbasol Championship was of second-string quality, you still have to get over the line and when Power did in that six-hole playoff against JT Poston he became just the fifth Irish player to win on the PGA Tour.

Power began the 2021 season ranked 429th in the world but since April he became arguably Ireland’s most in-form golfer with 11 cuts made in a row including five top-10s and his maiden PGA Tour win.

With a spot at the Players Championship and the PGA Championship already secured as well as a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour, Power can afford to let the shackles off and go for broke more often than just trying to secure his top-10 first and foremost when in contention on a Sunday.

The acid test for the Charlotte resident will of course be the more high-profile events which he will gain entry now that he is in the top-100 as the courses inevitably get longer but out of all the Irish players playing on both the European and PGA Tour, he is without doubt the one with the most momentum.

Will we ever see another Rory McIlroy bursting onto the scene at 17 or 18? No, not for a while anyway. Irish golfers have always come up through the ranks through hard work and determination to overachieve if truth be told.

If you look at Harrington, Clarke, McDowell and Lowry, none of them were half as talented as McIlroy yet they steadily rose to the top of the world through sheer hard work, even Paul McGinley who was never world class made three Ryder Cup appearances and will go down in Ryder Cup folklore for his putt at the Belfry in 2002.

Am I saying Power is destined to achieve such feats? No. But he can swing with freedom without the burden of having limited PGA Tour starts and having to struggle to secure his playing rights for the following year.

A few years where he can let loose could bring out the best in the Waterford man, watch this space who knows what could happen over the next five years or so, his 2021 stats more than proved he can put runs of form together that can see him stick around for the long haul.

Once a journeyman, the only way seems to be up for Power in 2022 and beyond.

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