Seamus Power insists he must improve his game and start contending for wins if he's to avoid a repeat of his FedEx Cup torture again next year.
The West Waterford star (31) was thanking his lucky stars — and Sergio Garcia — after holding on to his PGA Tour card by this fingernails to qualify for the first FedEx Cup playoff event, the Northern Trust in New Jersey this week.
Ranked 123rd heading into the final counting Wyndham Championship with only the top 125 keeping their cards, he suffered indescribably in front of the TV on Sunday after missing the cut to leave his fate in the hands of others.
But after a series of results went his way and he eventually secured his card in 125th place, he’s determined never to suffer that kind of torture again.
“Overall I am very happy and relieved but it’s not the way you’d like to do it,” the Tooraneena man confessed.
"I got a few good breaks with the guys right behind me at 124th and 125th in the standings missing the cut by one and then Sergio making a few late bogeys was very helpful. But I don't want to go through that again.
"I never really got it going game wise this year, so while it was nice to be able to squeeze into the top 125, that's not the position you're looking for.
"You want to be contending for a few tournaments and up near the top of leaderboards. So that's the plan for next season."
Power knows where he has to improve and after hooking up with coach Nick Bradley for the first time last weekend, he's optimistic about the 2018-19 campaign and treating this week's opening Playoff event as a bonus.
"Looking at my game, I think I ended up ranked 15th for putting, which was really what saved me," he confessed.
"Off the tee, I wasn't atrocious, but it wasn't fantastic either. But there was barely a stat where I was in the top 115 in terms of approaching the green all the way through the bag.
"So that's where the improvement is going to have to be made or I will find myself in the same situation next year."
While he’d love to go on a run in the FedEx Cup by making the top 100 after this weeks’ Northern Trust that qualify for the Dell Technologies Championship at TPC Boston next week, he admits he’s happy to face the challenge.
“I don’t have a clue what I have to do but to pass 25 guys,” he said, guessing a top-10 finish would be imperative. "But to be honest, I am going there playing with house money.
"I'd obviously like to progress in the Playoffs but what I am feeling now is a sense of relief. It should be a lot less stressful that the last few months of golf, that's for sure.
"It's just a relief to make it through because I played very poorly last week to miss the cut and I have played very poorly for the last few weeks.
"I was mentally preparing for the trip to Ohio for the Web.com Tour finals, so I feel like I got a lucky break.
"I was doing my best not to watch the coverage all weekend and just do some practice. But yesterday I got back home and put the TV on for a second and I don't think I moved an inch for two hours.
"When I turned it on first, all the guys in front of me were playing well and I was completely out of it. But then Sergio made a few bogeys, which was nice of him, and it worked out."
Finishing in the top 125 will allow Power to plan his 2018-19 schedule with ease and while he’d need to break into the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings to make events like The Memorial Tournament or the Arnold Palmer Invitational next year, he quite rightly sees nothing but positives.
“They are only small things but they make a big difference,” he said of his improved status. “For example, coming off the Web.com Tour you get a lot of late tee times and that makes it tougher - finishing the dark sometimes.
“To have a set schedule really makes a difference. It’s great.”
He's set to tee it up with Jhonattan Vegas and Harris English in the first two rounds.