Seamus Power closed with an eagle three to post 10-under 61 for a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the Rex Hospital Open on the Web.com Tour in Raleigh.
it was the West Waterford man's career low round and it featured eight birdies in his first 14 holes before he hit a wood from 237 yards to within four feet on the par-five ninth and holed the putt
“I think everything was decent,” said Charlotte resident Power, who leads by two strokes from two-time tournament champion Kyle Thompson (63) and by three from Western New York’s Dominic Bozzelli (64), who started the week as the 12th alternate.
“I actually missed a couple of short putts early on, but besides that, everything was nice.”
According to the PGA Tour:
Power canned a 35-foot birdie putt on his first hole to get him “going in the right direction” and would add another of distance midway through his back nine.
“I’ve been pretty close. It hasn’t been too far off all year,” said Power, who recorded his first top-10 finish two weeks ago. “It’s been a little frustrating but it’s getting better.”
Late thunderstorms on Wednesday dropped nearly a half-inch of rain on the course and resulted in officials turning to lift, clean and place conditions for the first round.
“I love the greens here and read them pretty well,” said Thompson, a winner here in 2007 and 2011. “I could putt these greens every week and do pretty good, I think.”
Thompson is making only his second start of the 2015 season, thanks to very limited Tour status as a past champion.
“On Tuesday, I made nine birdies and an eagle so I didn’t play as well today,” he said. “I can’t explain why all of a sudden I shoot 8-under today. It’s just a stupid game.”
Stupid and unforgiving at times. Thompson turned pro in 2001 and has made 287 combined starts on the PGA TOUR and the Web.com Tour but is facing a potential crossroads in his career.
“I’ve been chasing it pretty hard,” said Thompson, who has been successful once in a dozen Monday qualifying tries on the PGA TOUR this year. “If you play this game long enough you’ve thought about working in the real world. I’ve batted around the idea but there aren’t many jobs that I could go out and earn a million dollars a year like you can at golf. Literally, it takes only two or three good weeks and you’re right there. That’s the carrot that keeps so many of us going on this Tour and chasing it on the mini-tours.”