Level par not enough for Power at PGA Q School

Seamus Power’s PGA Tour dream will have to wait for at least another year after the West Waterford man fell at the penultimate stage of the dreaded Q School for the second year running.

The 25-year-old, now resident in North Carolina, went into the final round at Plantation Preserve Golf Course & Club near Fort Lauderdale in Florida tied for 16th place.

Only the top 19 and ties would progress to the final stage at La Quinta in California later this month but Power, who would have been guaranteed status on the second tier Web.com Tour at the very least, closed with a level-par 71 to miss out by two strokes in joint 28th on eight under par.

Exactly 19 players made it on 10 under par or better, with Orlando’s Rob Oppenheim topping the qualifiers by four shots on 21 under par.

England’s Ross Fisher, a Ryder Cup winner at Celtic Manor in 2010, tied for 13th to make it with a shot to spare on 11 under while compatriot Ollie Fisher, who became the youngest Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup player in 2005, finished right on the qualifying mark thanks to birdies at the closing two holes.

What Power would have given for that finish in the last Q School that will give players direct access to the PGA Tour itself.

Instead, the Team Ireland-sponsored player was left wondering what might have been.

Twelve months ago, he was tied for seventh place with a round to play and three shots inside the top 20 and ties who would progress.

But after rounds of 72, 66 and 71, the ETSU graduate could only manage a three-over 75 at Redstone in Texas, to miss out by a shot.

Three under par after opening rounds of 70 and 69, the former Irish Youths champion fired a super 66 on Thursday to sneak inside the top 19 with a round to play.

As it turned out, a 69 would have been good enough but he was trampled in the final round stampede as his level-par 71 was bettered by 50 of the 74-man field.

He started well with a birdie-four at the first but bogeyed the 178-yard third, a hole he had birdied on the previous two days, before getting that shot back at the 335-yard ninth.

He knew he would need to come home in red figures to have any chance of making it to the finals but instead carded a one-over 37 with a bogey at the 207-yard 15th and a dispiriting par-five at the last.

Power wasn’t the only player left feeling down and out.

Paraguay’s Carlos Franco, a four-time PGA Tour winner, missed out by a solitary stroke despite closing with a brace of 66s.

Sweden’s Jesper Parnevik, a former Ryder Cup player with 14 professional wins, missed out by seven shots as he finished tied 59th with Tiger Woods’ former college buddy Notah Begay, another four-time PGA Tour winner.

Power can take solace from the fact he has won as a pro this year, claiming two titles and more than $59,000 (€46,300) in winnings on the eGolf Professional Tour, a mini tour based in the Carolinas.

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