‘Lowest to the highest’ - Séamus Power on where he started and how it felt

Top of the list for this season is to make it into the season-ending Tour Championship

The journey has been far from straightforward. There were cul-de-sacs with speed bumps; and, if at times it seemed as if whatever GPS device supposedly guides the career path of an aspiring, ambitions young professional golfer was malfunctioning, the point is that Séamus Power finally got there - as a PGA Tour winner - and fully aware that the final destination is still ahead.

Of navigating a route through the mini tours to where he is now, inside the world's top-50 and with golden tickets to the Masters, US Open, the 150th British Open at St Andrews and the US PGA within touching distance, the 34-year-old Waterford man - who has signed a two year sponsorship deal with The K Club to be the resort's touring professional - recalled of where he started and how it felt:

“I remember I was on the mini tours and you are watching your bank balance going like this,” he said, pointing down to the floor, “and I remember skipping a couple of tournaments in 2012 because, if I miss these two cuts, I could be out of money and that was tough going. It went from the lowest to the highest.

“Even when I won on tour, I don’t think I felt as good as I did in 2012 when I won 15 grand and the weight of the world was off your shoulder and I felt like I was a millionaire. It was the greatest thing ever.” That was the River Run Classic on the eTour, a mini tour in North Carolina.

READ MORE

Such an honest reflection provides an insight into how grounded Power has remained in a career based on hard graft and talent.

One which has earned him the right to map out his own playing schedule in the months and years ahead, with next week's Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and the following week's Players Championship at Sawgrass propelling him into a hectic itinerary that should ensure stops at Augusta National, Tulsa, Brookline in Massachusetts and finally St Andrews in a timeline stretching from April to July.

Nothing to lose

“I have never played the Majors, so it is going to be interesting, they are obviously massive . . . . watching fellas, you figure the biggest and the best memories in golf are always of the Majors. You want to be part of that and test your game against the hardest courses and hardest conditions.

“I haven’t played any so it is hard for me to tell yet but I am definitely looking forward to getting started this year. I am in that position where I don’t feel I have a lot to lose. It took me long enough to get here, so I can almost give it a rip and see what happens.

“Everyone at the moment is asking me about Augusta, but the 150th anniversary Open at St Andrews would be incredible. I played the St Andrews Links Trophy there as an amateur. It’s so special to play there, so to play the Open there would be incredible. That’s more on my radar than any of the rest and it would be an unbelievable month of golf with the Irish Open (at Mount Juliet) and then two weeks later St Andrews. So, that’s my goal for the month of July anyway.”

Indeed, Power's win in the Barbasol last July, which came with a two year exemption on the PGA Tour to provide a security that has been rewarded with consistently fine performances in elevating him to 46th in the official world rankings, has brought him to a new level with higher goals.

And top of the list for this season is to make it into the field for the 30-player season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake. Getting there will be confirmation of work well done for the year, whilst also confirming access to all of next year's biggest championships: "It would be a real feather in the cap to get (to the Tour Championship) because you have to play well all season long to be there, all through the FedEx Cup playoffs. So it's a massive thing."

Targets

No matter which way Power looks, there are targets to be aimed for and, more often than not, he is nowadays reaching them. This time a year ago, he was ranked 439th in the world and unsure if his week's work involved a Korn Ferry Tour stop or a PGA Tour stop or any at all.

The secret of his transformation? “The easiest way to describe I, I just kind of figured out I was going to play, and it sounds clichéd, but Séamus Power golf! For a while, I was trying to improve swings to look like this person or that person.

“You see someone doing this and think, ‘oh, maybe I need to do that’. So then it was just do my own thing, this is how I play. These are my misses, that’s what they’re going to be, so I would learn to live with my own tendencies and try and improve them where I can and also play my own game.

“It has really freed me up. I always had a good short game. my short game would save me and push me over the edge a little bit better and my long game has come along with it. It has been a nice turnaround.”

And that onwards and upwards trajectory has also brought the Ryder Cup into his thoughts. To play for Europe, he must take out membership of the DP World Tour and, with the qualifying campaign for the 2023 match in Rome due to kick off this summer, Power has started the process of becoming a member.

For now, though, a delayed week at home - originally planned for Christmas but put back due to the impact of Covid - has allowed time to catch up with friends and family before hitting the road running again at Bay Hill with his newly logoed K Club tour bag and Irish flag accompanying him on every step of the journey ahead.