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Two continents, same desultory finish

Padraig Harrington.



By John Manley

Just because the meat of the season is over, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some worthwhile morsels lingering out there for the taking. Padraig Harrington and Shane Lowry in Portugal, and Seamus Power in Ohio recognized the value to be gained from the late-season offerings and went after them accordingly. Only, they couldn’t close the deal on a victory within their grasp.

Harrington showed up as the defending champion of the Portugal Masters and gave it a fairly good go. Opening rounds of 67 (just one bogey to offset nine birdies) suggested that he’d be a force to reckon with over the weekend. But a bogey at the first hole on Saturday was more indicative of what was to come.

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An even-par 71 was Harrington’s weak salvo as the money rush commenced. Sunday was little better, with just a bogey over the front nine, although he caught fire making the turn. Four birdies over the back nine, with just a bogey to stain that segment, showed him at his best, although Lucas Bjerregaard, 10 strokes clear of Harrington and four clear of his nearest pursuer, wasn’t the least bit ruffled. Joint-25th place was Harrington’s finish position.

Then there’s Lowry. Opening rounds of 69 and 64 saw him stumble just once each round. Eight birdies on Friday were particularly encouraging. Three consecutive birdies beginning at the third hole on Saturday suggested that more of the same was to come. But that was only a suggestion. Three bogeys and just one birdie coming home resulted in a round of 70 and a recalibration of his victory chances.

Lowry offered little on Sunday. Three bogeys and two birdies yielded a round of 72. He settled into a share of 29th place, 11 strokes off the winning score.


Power is looking to solidify his status on the 2018 PGA Tour. By virtue of finishing 127th in the FedEx Cup chase, two spots outside the charmed circle, he will have entrée to a good many events next year, but not necessarily everything he might want to play in. Thus his participation in this junior circuit’s final three events, which in many respects has usurped the traditional Q-School tournament for determining status.

Posting a win would also be an ego boost and through 17 holes in Saturday’s third round of the DAP Championship at Canterbury Golf Club in Beachwood, Ohio, Power loomed a solid threat, just two strokes off the lead. But then the par-4 18th hole came into play and that would account for much of the damage that resulted in Power’s finishing five strokes off the low score at tournament’s end.

A double-bogey 6 at 18 on Saturday, pushed Power down the leaderboard considerably. Stuck in neutral for much of Sunday’s round, he couldn’t gain traction to claw his way up. A birdie at 17 brought him back to even par for the round, but a double bogey, again, at 18 tripped him up.

Nicholas Lindheim won the tournament after dispatching two foes in the playoff. As for Power, who posted rounds of 71, 65, 69 and 72, he’s 19th on the Finals 25 list. The top 25 after next week’s Tour Championship in Atlantic Beach, Fla. advance to the 2018 PGA Tour.