West Waterford's Seamus Power grabbed his first win for nearly two years when he fired five birdies in closing 69 to win the eGolf Tour’s Cowan's Ford Open by four shots on 10 under par.
Leading by two shots after rounds of 70 and 67, the 27-year-old kept his cool to collect his third eGolf Tour title and a cheque for $12,500 that catapulted him to the top of the money list.
Now he's hoping to push on and have a big season after a frustrating 2013 campaign that saw him notch three runner-up finishes and an impressive 15 top-25s to en route to a fourth-place finish on the money list but no wins
“It was nice," Power said. "I haven’t won for a while, so it was a good feeling. It was tough starting out, but I was able to pull it together there at the end.
“I think you have to get a bit of experience, and now my game is starting to come together well,” said Power when asked what seems to be clicking this year. “My ball-striking carried me this week and I was never really in trouble. That makes a big difference.”
Power’s 2014 campaign began in solid fashion with a share of fourth at the season-opening Palmetto Hall Championship and a tie for third the following week at the Championship at Callawassie Island.
“I’m excited for this year," he said. "Hopefully the weather will start to cooperate and we’ll get into a good flow of tournaments. I’m really looking forward to that Million Dollar Series this fall and the chance to play well and make some good money there. It should be a fun year.”
Five birdies over his final six holes in the second round 67 left Power on the brink at the North Carolina venue.
And while he got off to a slow start in the final round, dropping a shot at the short third, the former East Tennessee State star racked up five birdies in eight holes from the eighth and could brush off a bogey at the 16th as he cruised to victory.
“The birdie on eight was huge because my patience was running thin,” said Power. “I took three to get down a few times early on, so I needed that one to finally get me going.”
He turned in level-par 36 to remain at seven under and one clear of 18-hole co-leader and playing partner David Sanchez, who was out in two under 34.
Sanchez, the tour’s leading money winner in 2005, was one of a handful of players who got close to Power early on day three.
Australian Mitch Krywulycz, 2007 British Amateur champion Drew Weaver, and five-time eGolf Tour winner Ryan Nelson all pulled within one of the lead on the outward nine, but quickly fell back when Power regained his form early on the back nine.
At the par-4 10th, Power recorded his second birdie of the day to vault to 8-under for the week, then followed that up two holes later with a birdie at the 12th that took him to 9-under par – four shots clear of the field at the time.
“I chipped in on 10, almost birdied 11, and then birdied 12. That was huge for me. It was important to get a few shots during that stretch,” he said.
The Power surge continued from there, as back-to-back birdies on 14 and 15 took him to 11-under par and a commanding six shots ahead of his nearest competitor.
“I finally took a look at the leaderboard after 15 to see what was going on, because I wanted to know if I had to do something over the last three holes,” Power said after his round.
“It was nice. I haven’t won for a while, so it was a good feeling. It was tough starting out, but I was able to pull it together there at the end.”
The payday brought Power’s 2014 earnings to $21,364, giving him top spot on the eGolf Tour money list.
More importantly, the win ended a 21-month winless drought that dated to the 2012 Spring Creek Classic.
Cowan's Ford Open, Cowan's Ford Country Club, Par 72; 6,875 yards
1. Seamus Power, Ireland, $12,500.00, *70-67-69-206 -10
2. David Sanchez, Huntersville, NC, $8,000.00, *67-73-70-210 -6
3. Vaita Guillaume, Papeete, Tahiti, $5,500.00, *72-69-70-211 -5
3. Ryan Nelson, Charleston, SC, $5,500.00, *69-71-71-211 -5
5. Matt Schall, Williamsport, PA, $3,423.75, *74-71-67-212 -4
5. John-Tyler Griffin, Wilson, NC, $3,423.75, *67-75-70-212 -4
5. Kevin McLister, Charlotte, NC, $3,423.75, *71-70-71-212 -4
5. Dykes Harbin, Augusta, GA, $3,423.75, *75-71-66-212 -4
9. Steven Fox, Hendersonville, TN, $2,500.00, *69-76-68-213 -3
9. Ethan Tracy, Columbus, OH, $2,500.00, *71-74-68-213 -3
9. Drew Weaver, Sea Island, GA, $2,500.00, *72-68-73-213 -3
12. Mitchell Krywulycz, Australia, $2,200.00, *69-70-75-214 -2
13. Joey McLister, Charlotte, NC, $2,100.00, *69-73-73-215 -1
14. Jesse Hutchins, Kirkersville, OH, $1,900.00, *77-67-72-216 E
14. Brendan Gielow, Muskegon, MI, $1,900.00, *71-71-74-216 E
14. Will Collins, Salisbury, NC, $1,900.00, *72-71-73-216 E
17. Frank Adams III, Salisbury, NC, $1,700.00, *70-74-73-217 +1
18. Adam Hedges, Belmont, NC, $1,575.00, *74-71-73-218 +2
18. Garland Green, Tazewell, VA, $1,575.00, *73-72-73-218 +2
18. Noah Ratner, Asheville, NC, $1,575.00, *73-72-73-218 +2
18. Justin Peters, Stuart, FL, $1,575.00, *72-74-72-218 +2
22. Alex Boyd, Greensboro, GA, $1,350.00, *71-73-75-219 +3
22. Travis Ross, Crookston, MN, $1,350.00, *70-72-77-219 +3
22. Weston Eklund, Charlottesville, VA, $1,350.00, *71-74-74-219 +3
22. Brendan Kelly, Annapolis, MD, $1,350.00, *73-72-74-219 +3
22. T.J. Howe, Osceola, PA, $1,350.00, *70-76-73-219 +3
27. Atomu Watanabe, Queensland, Australia, $1,175.00, *71-73-76-220 +4
27. Ryan Sullivan, Winston-Salem, NC, $1,175.00, *76-70-74-220 +4
29. Drew Perry, Charlotte, NC, $1,080.00, *69-75-77-221 +5
29. Johnny Kyger, Salisbury, NC, $1,080.00, *71-75-75-221 +5
29. Ryan Thornton, Chattanooga, TN, $1,080.00, *75-71-75-221 +5
32. Bryce Greeley, Charlotte, NC, $1,040.00, *71-75-78-224 +8
33. Daniel Walker, Earlysville, VA, $1,020.00, *71-75-80-226 +10