Séamus Power a shot off Simpson and Kirk’s lead in Detroit

Second round 66 puts Waterford golfer up among the big guns at the halfway stage

Séamus Power of Ireland watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club. Photograph:  Leon Halip/Getty Images

Séamus Power of Ireland watches his tee shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic at the Detroit Golf Club. Photograph: Leon Halip/Getty Images

 

If you were to believe the hype, the stage at the Rocket Mortgage Classic should be reserved for those with the X-Factor, those like the hulked-up Bryson DeChambeau or someone like Matthew Wolff, the upcoming young star with the quirky swing.

Add Séamus Power to the mix. The 33-year-old from Co Waterford – a graduate of East Tennessee State who has flitted between the main PGA Tour and the secondary Korn Ferry Tour in recent seasons – played bogey-free golf to shoot a second round 66 for an 11-under-par midway total of 133 to leave him a stroke behind the halfway lead of Chris Kirk and Webb Simpson.

That Messrs DeChambeau, Wolff and the in-form Mark Hubbard represented the company atop the leaderboard was proof of just how well Power had played to get into position to contend for a first PGA Tour title over the weekend.

Power – who had missed the cut in each of his last two events on the secondary Korn Ferry Tour, and with limited opportunities on the main circuit given his status – has, so far, made the most of his chance with strong all-round game, hitting 15 of 18 greens in regulation in the second round and getting his putter to more often than not finish the job in claiming six birdies.

“It’s a course, if you can drive it well, you’re going to have plenty of chances, you can reach some Par 5s, you have some wedges [in hand for approach shots],” said Power. “So that was kind of a big focus on Tuesday, Wednesday, trying to make sure the driver’s in as good a spot as possible . . . . I probably rate myself as a pretty good course manager. You just have to kind of pick your spots. But the advantage I have, first two rounds that I’ve been driving it well, so I give myself more opportunities to be aggressive.”

Of backing up his opening round 67 with a 66, he added: “I’m pleased with it. I didn’t quite have my A-Game I guess, but I was able to manage it pretty well and hit some good shots at the right time.”

Power got up and running early on when he sank a 45-footer for birdie on the second hole. He backed that up with a four-footer for birdie on the third and rolled in a five-footer on the seventh to turn in 33 strokes.

Power then claimed further birdies on the 10th (from seven feet), the 13th (from six feet) and another on the 14th (from three feet) to move towards the top of the leaderboard.

Having failed to keep his full tour card last season, Power’s form – somewhat out of the blue given his best result so far this season was tied-35th in the Puerto Rico Open before lockdown – has come at a welcome time with the opportunity to tick a number of boxes going forward if he maintains it into the weekend. A win, indeed, would be life-changing; but even a top-10 would get him into the field again for next week’s Workday tournament in Ohio.

“I’m just delighted to be playing, so I’m just trying to relax and enjoy it,” said Power.

Wolff, the 21-year-old American who secured his breakthrough win in the 3M tournament in this same week a year ago, had six successive birdies – from the 14th to the first – in his round but suffered his only bogey on his finishing hole, on the ninth, after a poor drive into the rough, which saw him drop back into a share of the lead.

Collated second round scores & totals in the USPGA Tour Rocket Mortgage Classic (USA unless stated, par 72):

(a) denotes amateurs

132 Chris Kirk 67 65, Webb Simpson 68 64

133 Richy Werenski 67 66, Matthew Wolff 69 64, Mark Hubbard 67 66, Ryan Armour 69 64, Bryson DeChambeau 66 67, Seamus Power (Irl) 67 66

134 Sepp Straka (Aut) 68 66, Kevin Kisner 65 69

135 Brian Stuard 68 67, Matt Wallace (Eng) 66 69, Hudson Swafford 67 68, Brandon Hagy 67 68, Doc Redman 65 70, Tyrrell Hatton (Eng) 68 67, J.J. Spaun 66 69, Troy Merritt 68 67, Cameron Tringale 68 67

136 Luke List 69 67, Pat Perez 68 68, Scott Stallings 65 71, Viktor Hovland (Nor) 69 67, Adam Hadwin (Can) 67 69, Lanto Griffin 70 66, Mark Anderson 68 68, Emiliano Grillo (Arg) 66 70, Maverick McNealy 68 68, Ted Potter, Jr. 68 68

137 Steve Stricker 70 67, Henrik Norlander (Swe) 67 70, Chris Stroud 66 71, Harold Varner III 70 67, Lucas Glover 67 70, Christopher Baker 69 68, Cameron Champ 69 68, Kristoffer Ventura (Nor) 69 68, Michael Thompson 69 68, Sam Burns 68 69, Brendon Todd 68 69, Scott Harrington 71 66

138 Zack Sucher 69 69, Kyoung-hoon Lee (Kor) 69 69, Kevin Chappell 69 69, Fabian Gomez (Arg) 70 68, Si Woo Kim (Kor) 71 67, Keegan Bradley 69 69, George McNeill 67 71, Wesley Bryan 69 69, Zac Blair 70 68, Rickie Fowler 67 71, Johnson Wagner 67 71, Michael Gellerman 68 70, Tyler Duncan 68 70

139 Adam Schenk 68 71, Hideki Matsuyama (Jpn) 71 68, Seung-Yul Noh (Kor) 68 71, Austin Cook 69 70, Rhein Gibson (Aus) 67 72, Danny Willett (Eng) 71 68, Tony Finau 69 70, Tom Lewis (Eng) 68 71, Arjun Atwal (Ind) 70 69, Harry Higgs 69 70, Bo Van Pelt 70 69, Patrick Rodgers 69 70, Luke Donald (Eng) 69 70, Sungjae Im (Kor) 70 69, Jonathan Byrd 70 69, Josh Teater 70 69

The following players missed the cut

140 Peter Malnati 66 74, Jason Day (Aus) 70 70, Scott Brown 68 72, Roger Sloan (Can) 72 68, Sam Ryder 68 72, Greg Chalmers (Aus) 72 68, Nate Lashley 71 69, Chesson Hadley 71 69, Matt Every 72 68, Cameron Davis (Aus) 71 69, Ben Martin 73 67, Ricky Barnes 73 67, Vijay Singh (Fij) 70 70, Dominic Bozzelli 69 71

141 JT Poston 69 72, Matt Jones (Aus) 73 68, Aaron Wise 72 69, David Hearn (Can) 71 70, Branden Grace (Rsa) 70 71, Tyler McCumber 73 68, Bo Hoag 72 69, Bronson Burgoon 73 68, Jamie Lovemark 68 73, Chase Seiffert 66 75, Grayson Murray 74 67, Ben Taylor (Eng) 72 69, Russell Knox (Sco) 70 71

142 Robby Shelton 73 69, Peter Uihlein 72 70, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 71 71, Ryan Brehm 71 71, Joseph Bramlett 70 72, Will Gordon 71 71, Patrick Reed 70 72, Charl Schwartzel (Rsa) 70 72, Jason Dufner 74 68, Bubba Watson 71 71, Brian Harman 71 71, Cameron Percy (Aus) 71 71, Doug Ghim 71 71, Sahith Theegala 73 69, Cheng-Tsung Pan (Tai) 73 69, Brandt Snedeker 73 69

143 Shawn Stefani 69 74, Kyle Stanley 74 69, Michael Gligic (Can) 72 71, Aaron Baddeley (Aus) 71 72, Peter Kuest 71 72, Hank Lebioda 71 72, Bill Haas 68 75, Ryan Blaum 70 73, Patton Kizzire 71 72, James Hahn 67 76, Martin Trainer 71 72, Sebastian Munoz (Col) 73 70, Kevin Tway 72 71, Michael Kim 73 70

144 James Nicholas 70 74, Scottie Scheffler 79 65, Rob Oppenheim 72 72, Jimmy Walker 74 70, Tim Wilkinson (Nzl) 73 71

145 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 69 76, Alex Noren (Swe) 72 73, John Senden (Aus) 72 73, Tom Hoge 73 72, Robert Streb 72 73, Sebastian Cappelen (Den) 72 73, Xinjun Zhang (Chn) 71 74, Chandler Phillips 71 74, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 75 70

146 Vincent Whaley 71 75, Roberto Castro 73 73

147 Kurt Kitayama 71 76, Wes Roach 77 70, Andrew Putnam 74 73, Kramer Hickok 72 75, Beau Hossler 72 75, Nelson Lauta Ledesma (Arg) 73 74, Rafael Cabrera-Bello (Spa) 75 72, D.J. Trahan 73 74

148 Rory Sabbatini (Svk) 76 72

149 Brian Gay 73 76

155 Donnie Trosper 78 77

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