Power overcomes rocky start to shoot an opening 69 in Puerto Rico Open

Harrington also opens in steady style with a two-under round of 70

 Seamus Power: shot four birdies on his back nine in the  Puerto Rico Open at Grand Reserve Country Club  in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Photograph:  Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Seamus Power: shot four birdies on his back nine in the Puerto Rico Open at Grand Reserve Country Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico. Photograph: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

 

Séamus Power may yet find that patience is a virtue.

After three straight missed cuts on the PGA Tour so far this season, the 33-year-old Waterford man finally found reasons to be cheerful after overcoming a rocky start to open with a three-under-par 69 in the first round of the Puerto Rico Open.

Power – with missed cuts in the Sony Open, Farmers Insurance Open and Pebble Beach pro-am – recovered from three bogeys in his opening seven holes to turn his round around, getting his putter hot to roll in six birdies on the Tom Kite-designed Coco Beach Golf Course at Grand Reserve Country Club in the Caribbean.

After a difficult start off the 10th tee, with bogeys on the 11th, 14th and 16th holes, Power added a birdie on the 17th to his one on the 13th to turn in one-over 37 before getting on a hot streak with birdies on the second, third, fifth and ninth for a 69 that left him three shots off the early clubhouse leaders Robert Garrigus, Rafael Campos, Lee Hodges and Taylor Pendrith who all opened with 66s.

Having missed the Pebble Beach pro-am due to contracting Covid-19 and then missing the cut in last week’s Genesis Invitational, Pádraig Harrington showed some of his early-season form – which included a tied-6th finish in the Dubai Desert Classic – with a well-constructed two-under-par 70.

Harrington added the Puerto Rico Open onto his schedule after completing isolation due to contracting the virus and, having started on the 10th, had five birdies (at the 15th, 16th, 18th, second and fifth) to go with three bogeys.

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