PUERTO RICA OPEN

Seamus Power shoots stunning 67 and lies just four shots behind clubhouse leaders Rafael Campos and Grayson Murray

 

Seamus Power. Photograph by Golffile

Seamus Power emerged from tough weather conditions to card a 5 under par 67 heading into the final days play in the PGA TOUR's Puerto Rico Open at windy and wet Grand Reserve.

Power collected three birdies on the front nine with just the one bogey on the par-4 4th, to make the turn on two under par.

Three more birdies followed on 12, 14 and 16 to leave him on ten under for the tournament and four shots behind the joint leaders on 14 under par.

“I played nicely and it’s nice to get finished before the stoppage as it was really blowing in the middle of the round but now it’s kind of died down”, he said.

“It was tough playing into the par fives, like the one there at the end but overall, it was a very solid round.

“We also had plenty of mist and two earlier rain showers with the first on the fourth hole when it rained for about two minutes and then another on 15, and there on 18th but I managed to get in, as I said, before play was halted.

“The thing is you do get changing conditions down here and you just go about dealing with it but it was interesting today as there was about a 30-minute period when there was about a 25-mph wind on the 16th to the start of playing 18 when there was almost no wind, so you just kind of adjust as you go.

“Overall, it definitely makes for something of a fun day.

“So, looking forward now to tomorrow and going out there feeling very comfortable and hitting some more good shots.”

Local favourite Rafael Campos took a share of the lead with a 5-under 67.

The 32-year-old from San Juan followed a birdie on the par-4 17th with a bogey on the par-5 18th to drop into a tie for the lead with Grayson Murray at 14-under 202.

"I know there's a lot of things that can basically change my life tomorrow," Campos said. "But truth is, I'm just really happy. I have been playing good golf the last two weeks, and I really want to keep that mindset of the work I have been putting in the last four months, I'm starting to see good results.

"I think I will just focus on that, focus on playing the golf course the way I know how to play it, be aggressive when I have to be aggressive, and be conservative when I obviously don't feel comfortable. So, yeah, I really don't want to think about tomorrow. I just want to go out and hopefully play some good golf."

Murray bogeyed 17 and birdied 18 in a 65. Cameron Percy (67) and Branden Grace (68) were a stroke back.

Play was delayed three times for about an hour total in the afternoon because of the short, heavy downpours. With expected heavy rain overnight and into the morning, the final round will feature threesomes off split tees.

Campos has two top-10 finishes in the event, tying for eighth in 2016 and tying for 10th in 2017. After missing the cuts in seven of eight events to start the PGA TOUR season, he tied for seventh last week in Florida in a Korn Ferry Tour event. In 2019, he won the Bahamas Great Abaco Classic to become the first Puerto Rican winner in Korn Ferry Tour history.

The former Virginia Commonwealth player played the front nine in 3 under, with birdies on the par-5 second, par-4 third and par-5 fifth. He also birdied the par-4 10th and 12th.

"I felt today I hit the ball very well, with the exception of the last couple of holes," Compos said. "But I'm really happy with where I'm standing right now, and I really think I can't be in a better position basically for tomorrow. Hopefully, just kind of keep doing the same thing we're doing. I really feel comfortable with my swing."

He won't get to play in front of many of his fans Sunday because of coronavirus restrictions.

"It feels very weird only seeing them for like three holes out of 18 holes," Campos said. "So I got my mom, I got my wife, I got family supporting me. So that's all I really need right now. And, obviously, I feel the great positive energy the fans actually give me, either text messages or out here on the course."

The tournament is being played opposite the World Golf Championships event in Florida. The winner will get into the PGA Championship in May.

Murray won the 2017 Barbasol Championship, also played opposite a WGC event, for the 27-year-old former Arizona State player's lone TOUR title.

"It's been a long time since I have been in a situation like this, but I'm not afraid of the moment," Murray said. "And at the end of the day, you still got to play good golf, no matter -- no matter who's chasing you or who I'm chasing."

He birdied five of the first nine holes.

"I had the putter rolling and just kind of kept it rolling throughout the round," Murray said. "We had to stop and start. We were a little unfortunate, but they were quick. And the PGA TOUR did a good job of kind of keeping us out there and not bringing us in each time."

Second-round leader Brandon Wu (71) was 12 under with Andrew Putnam (67) and Nelson Ledesma (68).

"Had to scramble a little bit harder today," Wu said. "I think it was playing tougher, the start and the stop, the rain, crazy conditions."

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