Seamus Power is ten strokes behind Cameron Champ heading into the final round of the Sanderson Farms Championship at the Country Club of Jackson.
The West Waterford man shot a two-under 70 in Saturday’s second round, but fell four spots from 19th to tied 15th on seven-under as big-hitting rookie Champ (23) shot an eight-under 64 to lead by four shots on 17-under from Corey Conners, who also shot 64.
Champ isn’t just long, he’s also got an excellent short game, as the PGA Tour reported:
It takes more than long tee shots to amass such a large 54-hole lead. He’s missed just 10 greens this week while showing exceptional skill with the shortest club in his bag. He’s eighth in Strokes Gained: Putting, making nearly half of the putts he’s faced from 10-20 feet this week. He’s 4 for 7 from 10-15 feet.
The advantage he has on the tee shouldn’t be underrated, though. He leads the field in driving distance, averaging nearly 307 yards on all tee shots. Nine of his 14 tee shots traveled longer than 310 yards in Saturday’s warm conditions, including six over 320.
He confirms what the Strokes Gained stats have shown us. Length off the tee is an invaluable asset. Just look at the way he has decimated the par-5s on this century-old layout. He’s birdied 10 of the 12 he’s played. On Saturday, Champ hit iron into all four. Twice he hit 8-iron.
Power, who has been working with coach Nick Bradley since the weekend of the Wyndham Championship, is ranked fourth for strokes gained off the tee, 48th for stokes gained tee to green and tied sixth for fairways hit.
He is 51st so far this week for proximity to the hole but still 14th for strokes gained putting after using the blade just 25 times in a third round 70 that featured six birdies and four bogeys.