Sport

Power hits clubhouse in tie for third in Texas

Séamus Power has seen his week at the AT&T Byron Nelson get off to a flier in Texas, as the Touraneena native carded an opening round 66 to enter the clubhouse in a tie for third.

It was an ice-cold display with the putter from Power, who carded seven birdies in his round to place himself firmly among the contenders at the TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney.

An early birdie blitz exuded confidence in the West Waterford clubman, as he holed a 26-footer at the par 4 fourth, before chipping to two feet on the par 5 fifth & sinking a 16-foot effort at the sixth to make it three in succession.

Séamus’ steady back nine then picked up real momentum at the fifteenth with another birdie. However, he did give that shot straight back at the following hole. The Touraneena man showed great character to respond to that solitary bogey however, holing back to back birdies - his penultimate shot at the 18th being a 21 foot pearler to hit the clubhouse at -6.

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Having holed a whopping 170 feet worth of putts, the world number 42 noted that he loves the greens at the Texas course.

“I knew I holed a lot of footage today, and I putted very nicely here last year. I love these greens here. The surfaces are perfect and they’re the type of greens I seem to read pretty well. It was nothing too special tee to green but I really felt good on the greens. Even last week, when I didn’t play well - I felt like I putted well. Once I get to bent greens, I feel like it really suits me. I’m just much more used to that, so that helps - and I just like the speed and I like the look of these ones.”

Having began the tournament last year as the world number 342, his ascension of 300 places in the interim 12 months was reflected in the standards of his showing.

The tournament lead is held by Colombia’s Sebastian Munoz, who smashed the course record with a blistering 12-under-par 60. He smashed in two eagles and nine birdies in a stellar round, completing the back nine in just 28 strokes.

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Power tees off at a later time tomorrow evening in the company of Keith Mitchell and Kevin Tway.

Cork’s John Murphy is also in the field. He’s currently +4 after his opening 18 holes.

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