Séamus Power taking the positives out of season after dropping out of playoffs

Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry head on to BMW Championship in Baltimore

And then there were two: Irishmen, that is, left in the FedEx Cup playoffs, the end-of-season megabucks finale to the PGA Tour season. Séamus Power’s magnificent season stateside came to an end with a closing bogey on his 72nd hole of the Northern Trust, which ensured he finished outside the top-70 on the standings of those who progress to the BMW Championship in Baltimore.

It was left to Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry to edge onwards to this week's second playoff event, where both admittedly have work to do if they are to make it to the ultimate destination, the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta where the $60 million pool will ultimately be divvied up.

For Power, a measure of his hugely successful season was that it came down to the last hole of his final event to determine his fate with regards remaining in the FedEx Cup. Having started the year at 434th in the world rankings, Power’s season – including a breakthrough tour win in the Barbasol – has him currently positioned in 117th.

Only the top 70 players on the FedEx Cup standings following the weather-delayed Northern Trust – won by Tony Finau in a playoff with Cameron Smith – earned a ticket onwards to the BMW.

Playing the last, Power was inside that mark but a bogey to finish meant he finished in 72nd. As it happened, not that he was to know, the Waterford man needed a birdie with the efforts of others, most notably Keith Mitchell who closed with a hat-trick of birdies, affecting the final dynamics.

Still, his season’s work was fruitful – that Barbasol win among four top-10s, with official earnings of $1,547,290 – in turning a low category card into a full exemption to the end of the 2023 season.

“It was my second time in the playoffs and really the first time with a chance to advance to the penultimate stage, so it was different for me. These are the fields you want to be playing in. I wish I had my best game coming in here, to give yourself a chance, but I was able to hang in there . . . it’s something to build on for the next season,” said Power.

McIlroy is currently 28th in the FedEx Cup standings, two spots inside the cut-off for East Lake, while Lowry is in 47th position and will need a big week to push himself into the top 30.

Lowry’s tied-11th place finish in the Northern Trust nevertheless strengthened his position in Europe’s Ryder Cup qualifying, moving him up one place to seventh in the automatic standings for Whistling Straits.

Finau’s win – only the second PGA Tour of his career, adding to his 2016 Puerto Rico Open success – had the effect of propelling him to the top of the FedEx Cup table and also moved him to ninth in the updated world rankings.