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Séamus Power back in contention in Las Vegas

Waterford man still has four holes to play in his first round and is three behind the lead

Seamus Power of Ireland hits his approach shot on the third hole during the first round of the Shriners Hospitals For Children Open at TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Waterford’s Séamus Power continued his good form in the early part of the 2018 PGA Tour season with five birdies, off set somewhat by a double bogey, in his opening 14 holes at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in Las Vegas before darkness saw play come to an early end.

Power was in contention at last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship in Mississippi before falling back on the final day but he’s quickly got over that to get within three of the lead at TPC Summerlin with four holes still to play.

Graeme McDowell sits a further two shot behind after he signed for a round of 70.

South Korean Whee Kim carded a bogey-free round of six under par (65) to lead by a shot.

Kim took advantage of a calm morning and completed most of his round before a breeze sprang up at the TPC Summerlin, the course where Tiger Woods recorded his first professional win in 1996.

J.J. Spaun, Ryan Blaum, John Huh and German Alex Cejka all carded 66 to trail by one stroke, with Jimmy Stanger also one behind after 15 holes. Stanger was one of 30 players unable to complete the round due to darkness.

“I think I played pretty decent,” Kim told PGA Tour radio. “It’s a nice start. I think I’m in a really good position.”

The 25-year-old has made the cut in barely half of his 80 starts since joining the PGA Tour but things have started to look up in the last six months.

He was joint runner-up at the St. Jude Classic in June and two weeks ago finished fourth at the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, the PGA Tour’s first official money event held in South Korea.

Two-times Masters champion Bubba Watson, coming off a mediocre season in which he finished 75th in the points standings, battled to a 72 in his first start in two months.

He told media earlier this week that he was going back to playing with Titleist golf balls. He previously had a deal with Volvik, who are best known for their brightly-coloured balls.

This week’s event is the sixth of 45 on the 2017-18 PGA Tour schedule.