Seamus Power dramatically claimed his second victory of the season when he birdied seven of his last 11 holes to card a five under 66 and win the eGolf Tour’s Spring Creek Classic by five strokes.
The 25-year old West Waterford man was trailing leader and former Walker Cup star Adam Mitchell by three shots before mounting an incredible charge to finish on 16-under in Virginia.
“I started well with a chip-in for birdie on No. 1, but then fell into a bad stretch for a few hours, making three bogeys in the middle of the front nine,” said Power, who earned $15,000 to move up to ninth in the money list with $36,768 from 10 starts. “I felt like I was a little too pumped up, so I really had to calm myself down.”
According to Stewart Moore at the eGolf Tour:
A bogey-birdie-bogey stretch by Mitchell on Nos. 10 through 12 paired with a Power birdie at the long par-4 12th to bring the two players into a tie for the lead at 12-under par with just six holes to play.
“The birdie at 12 was big because he birdied 11 to go up by two again, but I was able to hit a good approach in for birdie,” Power said. “Adam leaked his second shot right and made bogey, and from there we were square.”
Power birdied three of his final seven holes to claim his first tour title at the River Run Classic in March and learned from the experience.
“I knew I had won earlier this year, and that he had not won yet, so I thought I could pull a bit of experience out down the stretch,” said Power. “At that point, I felt pretty good.”
On the par-4 14th, Power added yet another birdie to move into sole possession of the lead at 13-under par, one shot clear of Mitchell before there was a two-hour weather delay.
“Before we got pulled in, I was feeling really good,” he said. “It was tough to come in right in the middle of the round, but I had to keep reminding myself that I was leading and that I had left myself in good position on 15 whenever we got back out.”
A birdie at the short par-4 15th put Power two shots clear of Mitchell who then bogeyed the 16th to fall three behind.
“Once he hit that tee shot on 16, I felt good about where I stood,” Power said. “I’ve always had a history as a good front-runner, so I felt like I could get it to the house over the last two holes.”
A 23-foot birdie bomb by Power on the par-3 17th pushed the Charlotte resident to 15-under, and in clear control of the tournament title.
On that same hole, Mitchell’s tournament hopes crumbled with a shocking triple-bogey that dropped him to 8-under and out of the mix.
For Power, the win further validated a breakthrough season for a player who posted just one top-10 finish in all of 2011. After spending a vast majority of his time last year wondering if he measured up, he has more than answered the bell in 2012.
“Last year I learned a lot. I was trying to do too much at times, thinking everyone else was a lot better than they actually were,” he said. “I found myself trying to birdie every hole and trying to keep up, whereas this year I’ve had more patience with myself.”
“I knew I had plenty of holes left after those bogeys, and that I just had to stay patient early on,” said Power. “I stayed within myself, and later found myself walking down 18 fairway with six birdies in my last 10 holes. That was a pretty cool feeling, when you think about it. It’s always nice when you can rally like that to win.”
That patience, he said, played a key role in his win at Spring Creek.
The third member of Friday’s final pairing, 2007 British Amateur champion Drew Weaver, made a late rally of his own with birdies on 15 and 16 to post a closing 2-under 69 and grab runner-up honors at 11-under 202.
The finish continued an unreal stretch for Weaver, who has ascended to the top of the eGolf Tour’s money list with a torrid month and a half of golf.