West Waterford’s Seamus Power brilliantly claimed his first title as a professional with a two-stroke victory in the eGolf Tour’s River Run Classic in North Carolina. Scores
The 25-year old, three time Irish Youths champion started the day three shots clear of Cam Burke on 14 under par after rounds of 64 and 62.
And he held firm in the end to earn the $15,000 winner’s cheque by carding a two under 70 for a two-shot win over Burke on 16 under par.
According to the eGolf Tour’s Stuart Moore:
Early on in the final round, it looked as though Burke might try and steal Power’s thunder. Birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 moved Burke to 13-under, while a birdie-bogey stretch on Nos. 2 and 3 by Power closed the gap to just one shot with 15 holes to play.
“When he birdied the first two holes, it kind of became a two-horse race,” said Power, 25. “To be honest, that kind of relaxed me a bit as there were fewer players to worry about out there. It was really just me and Cam.”
Power birdied the par-4 fifth to move back to 15-under, but a three-putt bogey at the ninth left him at even-par for the day and at 14-under, where he began the round.
Meanwhile, Burke hit an eight-hole string of pars that did little to threaten Power’s title chances. The par streak came to an end with a bogey at the par-4 11th, and when Power added a birdie at the par-5 12th, the lead was back up to three shots.
“I made a good 8-foot par putt at 10, and when I birdied 12, that gave me a good cushion again at three shots,” Power said. “After that, I birdied 13 to get to 16-under and four ahead. From there, I just wanted to get to No. 18 – I wasn’t going to let up until I did.”
The birdie at 13 gave way to pars at 14, 15 and 16 by both Power and Burke. Power bogeyed the tough par-3 17th to fall to 15-under, but with a three-shot lead in tow, the former East Tennessee State golfer had more than enough room to play the 18th with the demeanor of a champion.
A closing eagle by Burke was icing on the runner-up cake, but did little to diminish a closing birdie by Power, who finished with a final-round 70 and a 16-under total, good for a two-shot victory.
“This win is great for me,” said Power, who moved up to No. 7 on the tour’s money list with earnings of $20,893. “The money obviously helps, but more importantly, it moves me further up the money list where I can hopefully get Q-School paid for by finishing in the top 20. That was one of my goals this year, so this helps a lot.”
The win for Power was foreshadowed a bit by good early-round play at last week’s Irish Creek Classic. Rounds of 62-70 gave him the tournament’s 18- and 36-hole leads, but closing rounds of 73-72 left him T22 on the week. Regardless, that experience paid dividends at River Run, where Power played like a seasoned veteran chasing win No. 10, not win No. 1.
“I consider myself to be a fast learner, and I learned a lot from last week,” he said. “I started trying to force some putts at Irish Creek, and did a poor job of just letting things happen. This week, I just tried to stay in the present and let it happen as opposed to forcing the issue.”
With the victory, Power was awarded a one-year, full membership to River Run Country Club, as part of a promotion put together by the club’s members. Power’s membership will include full access to the golf course and practice facilities, as well as the swim and tennis facilities, and the club’s member dining room.
“It’s fantastic. I live about 10 minutes from here, and can’t wait to come out and use the facility as a member,” said Power. “Just to be able to come out here and putt on some of the best greens around is huge. Add to that the full membership, and it’s a fantastic situation.”
It was a major triumph for the former Irish international and University of East Tennesse graduate, who had just one top-10 in 20 career starts on the eGolf Tour before this week.
“I looked at some of my events last year, and there were a few where I led the field in birdies, but obviously I didn’t win and sometimes I didn’t even contend,” Power said before the final round.
“This offseason, I spent more time trying to limit my mistakes so that I wasn’t erasing the birdies, so to speak. Just hitting better shots in general and playing smarter – I think they’ve both helped.”