Power outage again on Saturday
Saturday at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Not Seamus Power’s finest hour. Not in 2022 and, again, not in 2023.
Last year, Power opened with rounds of 64 to bring a five-stroke lead into third-round play, which he squandered with a round of 74. He finished tied for ninth place, six strokes off the winning number.
In a case of deja voodoo, Power suffered a somewhat similar relapse in this year’s renewal of what used to be known as the Bing Crosby clambake. An opening even-par 72 at Spyglass Hill entailed a triple-bogey 8 but Friday’s 64 at Monterey Peninsula shot him to the top 10.
Saturday’s round at Pebble Beach was played amidst high wind, thus neutering any low-par onslaughts. Power did, however, string together three birdies over a four-hole stretch midround. Having teed off at the 10th hole to begin his round, he arrived at the third hole three strokes under par for the day. He then lost four strokes to par over the next three holes. A three-putt travesty from within five feet put an emphatic exclamation point on the situation.
Power played the last four holes evenly to escape with 73. Six strokes off the lead heading into Sunday, he did himself no favor with an opening bogey at Pebble. But he got that right back and then strung three birdies together beginning at the fifth hole. He moved to within four strokes of the lead with the 21-foot birdie putt that he sank at the seventh but he couldn’t maintain the momentum.
Darkness fell over the Monterey peninsula and a Monday finish ensued. Power finished off a final round of 69 and left tied for 15th place, nine strokes behind a victorious Justin Rose.
Power is now off to Scottsdale for this week’s bacchanal formally known as the Phoenix Open. Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry will also take part.
DP WORLD TOUR
After a weekend off to ponder his wildly varying performance in the Dubai Desert Classic, Padraig Harrington gave the Ras Al Khaimah Championship in the United Arab Emirates a shake. He played well enough, earning a share of 25th place with rounds of 69, 70, 70 and 71, nine strokes of Daniel Gavins’s winning score. Bouts of brilliance and the not-so-brilliant alternated over the weekend.
Harrington was six-under for Saturday’s round through 10 holes. Then he reeled off bogey at 11, 12, 15 and 18 to remove some of the luster and any chance of leaving with the trophy.
Harrington was three-under for Sunday when he teed off at the ninth hole. By the time he reached the 11th tee, he was reeling from consecutive double bogey-6s.
Tom McKibbin had a slightly similar story. Opening rounds of 70 and 71 allowed him to make the cut comfortably. Saturday’s 67 gave him an outside chance of contending on Sunday.
Sunday’s round went the wrong way when McKibbin saddled himself with four bogeys over the six closing holes. He plunged to a share of 36th place, 11 strokes adrift of Gavins. Three bogeys at the par-4 13th and four bogeys at the par-3 15th played an outsize role in his fortunes.
Gary Hurley (72-75) and John Murphy (74-73) both missed the cut by five strokes.
Conor Purcell began his quest to move on up to the next level in the Cape Town Open in South Africa. A joint-seventh-place finish is a good start.
An opening 68 was promising but consecutive bogeys at the second, third and fourth holes on Friday eventually spelled the difference between Purcell and victorious Benjamin Follett-Smith. That round of 73 then bled into Saturday's blemish-free 65.
Purcell was still in with a chance after birdies at 16 and 17 on Sunday. A bogey at 18 removed any shot. He finished three strokes off the winning number.
Ruaidhri McGee, always an early-season threat on this circuit, was in fine form with rounds of 72, 72 and 70. Then there was Sunday’s play. Six bogeys and a double, offset by no birdies, resulted in an 80. He shared 72nd place.
Graeme McDowell earned a share of 25th place in the Saudi International. He combined rounds of 70, 67, 70 and 66 to finish seven strokes under par and 12 off Abraham Ancer’s winning score.