Séamus Power and Leona Maguire cap off momentous years

Both come up short in quests for victory on Sunday but have made huge strides in 2021

Séamus Power and Leona Maguire had to bow to two of the most impressive winners of 2021 as they came up short in their bids for year-ending victories in the United States.

West Waterford star Power went into the final round of the RSM Classic at Sea Island Resort in Georgia looking for his second win and a Masters invitation but finished up tied for fourth after a two-under 68, seven strokes behind the impressive Talor Gooch, who claimed his maiden title at the age of 30.

Tied for second, three strokes behind Gooch overnight, Power birdied the fifth and ninth to keep pace, but while he birdied the 11th and 15th, he had no answer to Gooch, who came home in 31, carding a six-under 64 to win by three shots from Canadian Mackenzie Hughes, who shot 62, on 22-under par.

“Man, it was a great week,” said Gooch, who clinched a ticket to Augusta National and a move from 52nd to 33rd in the world. “I played well all week obviously, and today being a crucial day, I had a couple opportunities where things could have taken a turn for the worse and I was able to make some clutch putts.”


Power might have finished solo fourth or better but chasing at the finish, he found a penalty area going for a big drive at the 16th and made an expensive double-bogey six, then missed an eight-footer for birdie at the last.

Second place was worth $784,800, but he still picked up $288,000 to take his earnings for 2021 to $1.83 million and his career tally to $4.76 million.

He also moved up to 25th in the FedEx Cup standings after his fifth top-10 finish this year and from 89th to 70th in the world rankings.

As for Maguire, she made a 45 footer at the last, closing with a two-under 70 to finish a brilliant season tied 12th on 14-under, nine shots behind defending champion Jin Young Ko in the CME Group Tour Championship at Tiburón Golf Club in Florida.

Maguire picked up $62,415 for her performance but the biggest first prize in women’s golf - $1.5 million - went to South Korean star Ko.

Despite never hitting a warm up shot to protect an injured wrist, she hit 63 consecutive greens in regulation and claimed her fifth title of the season by carding a nine-under 63 to win by one stroke from Japan’s Nasa Hataoka, who shot 64 on 23-under.

Ko needed to finish second at worst to deny Nelly Korda the Rolex Player of the Year award, and the American had no complaints after carding a 69 to finish tied fifth, six behind the winner.

“Honestly, it was definitely the Jin Young Ko Show today,” said Korda, who won four LPGA events and Olympic gold. “It was really cool to witness. Obviously, I wish I could have kind of given it a better run, but in all, I think I had a great year.

“So I’m just going to kind of look back on that and enjoy it. But today was -- she just played amazing golf. There is not much you can do. Just sit back and watch, honestly.”