Proof, if it were needed, that Séamus Power has stepped out of the shadows: the Waterford man – currently number one on the FedEx Cup standings on the PGA Tour and 28th in the world rankings – is very much on Luke Donald’s radar ahead of next year’s Ryder Cup in Rome, as confirmed by his selection on the Britain and Ireland team that will face continental Europe in the Hero Cup in Abu Dhabi on January 13th-15th.
Donald consulted with Tommy Fleetwood and Francesco Molinari, who take on the roles of playing captains of the respective teams, in putting together the two line-ups in a tournament which is a throwback to the old Seve Trophy designed to use competition as a team-bonding exercise ahead of the Ryder Cup.
“It’ll be great to have Séamus with us following his excellent start to the season in America,” noted Fleetwood of Power’s inclusion with Shane Lowry, who made his Ryder Cup debut at Whistling Straits last year, also named in the nine named players with one player yet to be confirmed in bringing it up to 10 for the actual match.
Donald said: “Having worked close with Tommy and Fran on building two teams, I’m delighted with the mix of players. We all thought it was important to combine experience with youthfulness and I think we have found that balance with a mixture of Major champions and Ryder Cup players, alongside guys who are hoping to secure a sport in Rome next year.”
Power and Lowry are the only two Irish players in the team which is completed by two Scots (Ewen Ferguson and Robert MacIntyre) and five English players (Tyrrell Hatton, Matt Wallace, Callum Shinkwin, Jordan Smith and Fleetwood).
The continental European selection is made up of Molinari, Irish Open champion Adrian Meronk, Thomas Detry, Rasmus Hojgaard, Guido Migliozzi, Alex Noren, Victor Perez, Thomas Pieters and Sepp Straka.
Power is due to restart his season at the PGA Tour’s Tournament of Champions in Maui the previous week and has opted to skip the Sony Open in Hawaii so that he can compete in the Hero Cup.
Lowry, meanwhile, has one last tournament to play before putting his clubs away for the winter. The Offalyman is part of the limited 20-man field at this week’s Hero World Challenge in Albany, Bahamas, which is hosted by Tiger Woods.
Woods has announced his withdrawal from the Hero World Challenge after suffering a foot injury. The former world number one hasn’t played anywhere since missing the cut at the British Open at St Andrews in July but has said he hopes to recover for The Match alongside Rory McIlroy and the PNC Championship where he will partner his son Charlie in the scramble style event.
“I’m thrilled to close out a great December by returning to compete in the @PNCchampionship with my son Charlie. Getting to play as a Dad makes the week that much more special,” tweeted Woods in confirming his participation.