Power slips back after early morning missile scare

Power slips back after early morning missile scare
 Honolulu viewed from Diamond Head crater, Oahu, Hawaii

Honolulu viewed from Diamond Head crater, Oahu, Hawaii

Séamus Power weekend blues on PGA Tour continued when he carded a one over 71 in the third round to slip to tied 59th in the Sony Open in Hawaii.

But he wasn't helped by a terrifying early morning missile warning that turned out to be a false alarm.

Like everyone else with a phone in the area — US citizens regularly receive weather warnings and police messages on their mobile devices — the players and their families received an alarm at 8:07 a.m. local time stating “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”

An alert also went across local television screens describing how a missile threat was detected that “may impact on land or sea within minutes."

It was 38 minutes before a second message was sent, confirming it was a false alarm. And while the tour and officials had ascertained several minutes earlier that it was an error, Power was one of several players to quickly express their alarm.

"Not your normal emergency warning. Really hope it’s just a drill," Power tweeted at 8:24.

“So.......this can’t be good. Everyone is freaking out in the hotel,” Steve Wheatcroft tweeted at 8.14am. local time.

John Peterson, who was tied for second place at halfway, also tweeted — from the bath

“Under mattresses in the bathtub with my wife, baby and in-laws," tweeted Peterson. "Please lord let this bomb threat not be real."

Justin Thomas took it in his stride after the alert was sent to him by fellow professional, Tom Lovelady.

“I sat on my couch and opened up the sliding door and watched TV and listened to music. I was like, if it's my time, it's my time,” Thomas said.

According to the PGA Tour, Jordan Spieth admitted he thought of hitting the road.

“I kind of thought maybe, if we had a car, it would be wise to get in it and drive as far away from town as possible,” Spieth said. “It was pretty scary at the hotel when they came over the loudspeaker and said everyone take shelter, this isn't a drill.

“It certainly was a bit of a learning experience to try to figure out and do some research on what could possibly happen.”

Whatever about the scare, it did little to help Power on the course.

Scores

The West Waterford man was one of the best players on the PGA Tour over the first two rounds last season but his form dipped somewhat in rounds two and three, especially early in the season.

Having averaged 69.13 for round one scoring in 2016-17, a mark only bettered by Paul Casey and Spieth, his stroke average deteriorated with each passing round until he was 149th for round four scoring, averaging 71.2.

He admitted that heightened expectations on the weekend made it difficult to adjust last year. But he can at least be pleased that after playing his first 12 holes in two-over yesterday, he parred the next five before finishing with a birdie, pitching dead from 42 yards at the par-five ninth.

Tom Hoge shot a six-under 64 to lead the tournament by a shot on 16-under par from Patton Kirrire (64) and Brian Harman (68).

Thomas (66) is tied ninth on 10-under with Spieth tied 28th on seven-under after a 66