Seamus Power will have to block out the memories of his agonising one-stroke failure 12 months ago when he goes into the final round of his PGA Tour Q-School Stage Two qualifier with the final stage in his sights.
The West Waterford man fired a gutsy, five under 66 at Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club near Fort Lauderdale to move up to tied 16th at a venue where the leading 19 and ties make it to the Final Stage at La Quinta in California from November 28 to December 3.
A top 50 finish over the TPC Stadium and Nicklaus Tournament courses at La Quinta would guarantee Power an excellent card on on the second tier Web.com Tour next season while a Top 25 finish would see him join superstars Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington on the megabucks PGA Tour.
However, Team Ireland sponsored Power is just inside the qualifiers with a round to go in Florida, which is a far weaker position he attained at the same stage last season.
The former Ireland international was tied for seventh place with a round to play and three shots inside the top 20 and ties who would progress.
But after rounds of 72, 66 and 71, the ETSU graduate could only manage a three-over 75 on the Members Course at Redstone in Humble, Texas, finishing a shot outside the qualifiers.
Tied for 28th overnight, Power birdied the second and third and then followed a bogey at the sixth with three birdies on the spin from the seventh to turn in a brilliant 31.
He slowed down on the hoeward journey but still managed to pick up another shot at the par-five 18th for a five under 66 that moved him inside the top 19 on eight under.
Orlando’s Rob Oppenheim shot a 66 to remain in front on 17 under par, four strokes clear of South Korea’s Meen Whee Kim.
Ryder Cup star Ross Fisher is just a shot better than Power in joint eighth on nine under after a 70 while Oliver Fisher’s 71 left him tied 25th, a shot outside the qualifying places.
Meanwhile on the PGA EuroPro Tour, England’s Paul Maddy won the 888poker.com Tour Championship at Woburn with a 54-hole score of 10 under par and in doing so progressed to the 2013 Challenge Tour.
The top five on the 888poker.com PGA EuroPro Tour Order of Merit are awarded cards on next season’s Challenge Tour and Maddy joins Duncan Stewart and Stuart Manley, who already had cards.
Wallace Booth will also play on next season’s Challenge Tour, as will James Hepworth. Booth began the week fifth on the Order of Merit and finishing tied 10th at Woburn ensured he finished in the same position.
Powrstewart’s Paul Cutler closed with a two under 70 to share 19th on level par and finished 49th in the final Order of Merit with £3,374 from 13 starts.
Mick McGeady (73) and Jonny Caldwell (71) shared 23rd spot on one over with Tim Rice a shot further back in 29th after a 70.
McGeady was the leading Irish player in the final EuroPro Tour Order of Merit (breakdown), finishing 17th with earnings of £11,434.
The other Irish finishers were Caldwell (22nd), Rice (24th), Cutler (49th), Cian Curley (64th), Neil O Briain (74th), Ruaidhri McGee (78th), Paul O’Hanlon (83rd), David Rawluk (92nd), Noel Fox (111th), Steven Hackett (119th),