West Waterford’s Seamus Power maintained his successful run at the PING-Arizona Intercollegiate tournament in Arizona last week as he completed his second straight top-five finish in the event.
The East Tennessee State University sophomore tied for second place in last year’s event and he got his spring 2008 season under way in Tucson by claiming fourth place.
Power posted a four-under-par 68 in last Tuesday’s third and final round at the par-71 Arizona National Golf Club, to card three par or better rounds for a seven-under total of 206 (67-71-68), eight strokes back from individual champion Kevin Chappell of UCLA.
Power’s team-mate Gareth Shaw, of Lisburn, also ended the day at four-under.
The senior, who represented Ireland at last autumn’s World Amateur Team Championship, placed ninth individually as the ETSU Buccaneers claimed fifth place in the team competition with a three-over total 855 (274-299-282), 23 strokes back of team winner Tennessee.
ETSU’s seven-man squad boasts five Irishmen, an Englishman and a Scotsman, and of those playing in Arizona, Cornwall’s Rhys Enoch tied for 35th, while Simon Doherty of Belfast and Limerick’s Cian McNamara tied for 53rd.
“We’ve had three months off, but I don’t necessarily think we were rusty,” said ETSU head coach Fred Warren, who this week also signed a contract extension through to 2012.
“We just made some mistakes that cost us, especially in the second round, but we did a lot of good things in the first round and the third rounds. This was a desert course which is a different look for many of our guys and you can post some really high scores on a course like this. So overall, I think we did well.”
Warren, who has served as men’s golf coach at ETSU since 1986 and is a member of the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame, also has a rollover clause that would extend the deal to 2017.
He next takes Power and co. into action on February 29 at the Puerto Rico Classic.
Belfast’s Johnny Caldwell and his University of South Alabama men’s team get their spring season under way this weekend at the University of Florida’s Sun Trust Gator Invitational tournament.
For Caldwell, a member of the GB & Ireland Walker Cup squad at Royal County Down last autumn, it will be his final campaign before graduation.
Also playing this weekend’s tournament will be Wesport, Mayo’s Cathal O’Malley, a sophomore at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, alma mater of Graeme McDowell.
On the South Alabama women’s team, Shirley Harvey of Ballyclare, Co Antrim, resumes her sophomore campaign in Kinder, Louisiana at the Koasati Pines Collegiate Classic.