Web.com Tour — Seamus Power holed out for an eagle two and had just 24 putts in a seven under 63 to lead after the first round lead in the $600,000 Air Capital Classic presented by Aetna in windy Wichita, Kansas.
The 28-year told from West Waterford, who is 68th in the money list that awards PGA Tour cards to the Top 25, started on the back nine at Crestview County Club and stormed to the turn in five under 30 with a chip-in eagle two at the 11th and birdies at the 15th, 17th and 18th.
He got to eight under with further birdies at the second, fourth and fifth but with the wind whipping up on the back nine, he bogeyed the sixth for a 63 that was only his second best score of the season. Scores
"It’s a nice start, but that’s all it is – a nice start,” said Power, who entered the week No. 68 on the Tour money list after 12 of 21 Regular Season events.
“This is a good test. You don’t get away with things. If you miss a shot, that wind is going to put you in spots you don’t want to be in. You’ve got to make sure you’re hitting it solid.”
Power got off to just such a start thanks to a new driver in the bag. Same make, different model.
“I was a little off in the practice rounds. It was drifting right on me,” said the Ping man. “This one is slightly short with a different shaft. It’s similar to the one I had.”
"It was a good day for me, obviously," Power added after a windy first day. "On the greens, I made some nice putts because it was windy and I got off to a nice start by chipping in on my second hole of the day, the 11th, and that got me settled down and I made a couple of nice putts after that.
"I was swinging it pretty well because it was playing pretty tough, especially the finish on the front nine there, it was tough to hold on to a score. So I was pleased to get into the clubhouse with seven."
Asked how much of an advantage his length had been, he said: "It can be. Fortunately for me I was hitting some fairways when I was hitting it long out there.
"There are a couple of driveable par-fours and I can reach the par-fives and get it in play and be aggressive from there. So it is definitely a help, as long as you are in the fairway because there is some thick rough out there. Get it on the fairway and you are good to go from there."
A rookie on the second tier circuit after graduating via Q-School last year, Power opened with a 61 in the Rex Hospital Open in May but ended up tied 51st.
Power leads by one stroke on seven under from Sweden's Henrik Norlander, South Korea's D.H. Lee, South Africa's Dawie van der Walt and American Timothy Madigan, who all shot 64s. Scores
While it's still far to early think of victory, Power will be well aware that a win worth $108,000 would put him comfortably inside "The 25."
PGA Tour — Pádraig Harrington was one over par with eight holes to play but rallied spectacularly by carding five birdies in six holes at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands.
This year's Honda Classic winner carded a four under par 66 near Cromwell in Connecticut to share 15th place, four strokes behind Bubba Watson.
Harrington had virtually no chances early on, then bogeyed the seventh off a bunkered second before his round finally took off when he holed a 20 footer for a two at the 11th.
After a par at the 12th, he birdied the next four holes, holing putts of six feet, eight feet, five feet and 15 feet for a homeward nine of 30.
Watson almost holed his approach to the last, tapping in from a few inches for his ninth birdie of an eight under 62 that gave him a two-stroke lead in the event he won in 2010 for his first PGA Tour title.
The left-handed, two-time Masters winner has finished in the top 20 five times in eight previous starts at TPC River Highlands.
He just missed an eagle on the par-four 18th hole, hitting a 139-yard second shot that hit the flag..
Keegan Bradley is tied for second with Jason Gore, Seung-Yul Noh, Brian Stuard and Harris English after 64s with another eight players tied for seventh after 65s.
Harrington is in a 12-man pack on four under after his 66. The Dubliner, now 92nd in the world, needs a decent week having missed seven of 14 cuts this year on both sides of the pond.