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Seamus Power secures PGA Tour card by just $287

A nightmare finish for American Matt Harmon saw the Waterford golfer squeeze in

Seamus Power of Ireland hits his drive on the second hole at the Tour Championship held at Atlantic Beach Country Club in Florida. Photo: Michael Cohen/Getty Images

The incalculable vagaries of high-stakes golf addled the minds of just about everyone at the Tour Finals on Monday but, when the final totals were done, only one fact mattered to Seamus Power. By the very skin of the skin of his teeth, the Waterford golfer secured his PGA Tour card for the 2017-18 season, taking the 25th and final spot on the play-offs money list.

A nerve-shredding day of golf at Atlantic Beach country club in Florida, Power was in and then he was out and then he was in again and out again several times. In the end, it turned out that the most important hole he played all week was the 18th he birdied to make the cut. Even though his scoring over the closing two rounds was fairly mediocre – a 70, 71 finish leaving him on six-under-par in a tournament where the winning score was 23-under – the very fact that he stayed around for the weekend meant he picked up a cheque for $2,975. Without that birdie on 18 on Friday, he would have missed out on his card by just $287.

Power began the day in a projected 22nd place on the play-offs money list, with the top 25 at the end of play winning their card. After bad weather washed out Sunday’s play, Power made a slow start to the final round and four players leap-frogged him before he reached the turn. A double bogey on the par-three 15th – his 6th hole of the day – was compounded by a bogey on the next and meant that with seven holes of his final round played, Power was out to the dreaded projected 26th place.

And even though a run of four birdies in six holes got him back up to 25th, a bogey on his 16th saw him bypassed by American player Matt Harmon. Power finished with a level-par 71 and a tie for 48th place. The $2,975 cheque took his earnings for the Tour finals up to $40,625. At that point, it was out of his hands.

But Harmon cruelly lost his putting touch when it mattered most. He missed from three feet for birdie on 17 and three-putted the last for bogey to finish tied for 20th on 13-under-par. A birdie-par finish would have knocked Power out of 25th spot. A par-bogey finish meant he ended up in 32nd. Harmon promptly snapped his putter walking off the 18th.

It left a relieved Power clinging onto that last spot, a fully-fledged PGA Tour player for next season. He has no time to celebrate, however. Next season starts on Thursday at the Safeway Open in California.