Final-Round 70 Gives Seamus Power First eGolf Tour Title at the River Run Classic
By Stewart Moore
Davidson, NC – Seamus Power of Waterford, Ireland entered the final round of the eGolf Tour’s River Run Classic with a three-shot lead following rounds of 64-66—130 to start his week. On a picture perfect day just north of Charlotte, NC, Power made good on his vast potential with a final-round 70 to post a three-day total of 16-under 200 and capture his first eGolf Tour title, as well as the $15,000 first-place prize.
The River Run Classic is the fifth of 24 scheduled events on the 2012 eGolf Tour schedule, and is being contested this week at River Run Country Club in Davidson, NC. The event is the first of 10 scheduled 54-hole events on the tour’s 2012 schedule.
Entering Friday’s final round, Power was in sole possession of the lead at 14-under par, three shots clear of Canadian Cam Burke, and five shots ahead of Kevin Foley of Somerville, NJ.
Early on in the final round, it looked as though Burke might try and steal Power’s thunder. Birdies at Nos. 1 and 2 moved Burke to 13-under, while a birdie-bogey stretch on Nos. 2 and 3 by Power closed the gap to just one shot with 15 holes to play.
“When he birdied the first two holes, it kind of became a two-horse race,” said Power, 25. “To be honest, that kind of relaxed me a bit as there were fewer players to worry about out there. It was really just me and Cam.”
Power birdied the par-4 fifth to move back to 15-under, but a three-putt bogey at the ninth left him at even-par for the day and at 14-under, where he began the round.
Meanwhile, Burke hit an eight-hole string of pars that did little to threaten Power’s title chances. The par streak came to an end with a bogey at the par-4 11th, and when Power added a birdie at the par-5 12th, the lead was back up to three shots.
“I made a good 8-foot par putt at 10, and when I birdied 12, that gave me a good cushion again at three shots,” Power said. “After that, I birdied 13 to get to 16-under and four ahead. From there, I just wanted to get to No. 18 – I wasn’t going to let up until I did.”
The birdie at 13 gave way to pars at 14, 15 and 16 by both Power and Burke. Power bogeyed the tough par-3 17th to fall to 15-under, but with a three-shot lead in tow, the former East Tennessee State golfer had more than enough room to play the 18th with the demeanor of a champion.
A closing eagle by Burke was icing on the runner-up cake, but did little to diminish a closing birdie by Power, who finished with a final-round 70 and a 16-under total, good for a two-shot victory.
“This win is great for me,” said Power, who moved up to No. 7 on the tour’s money list with earnings of $20,893. “The money obviously helps, but more importantly, it moves me further up the money list where I can hopefully get Q-School paid for by finishing in the top 20. That was one of my goals this year, so this helps a lot.”
The win for Power was foreshadowed a bit by good early-round play at last week’s Irish Creek Classic. Rounds of 62-70 gave him the tournament’s 18- and 36-hole leads, but closing rounds of 73-72 left him T22 on the week. Regardless, that experience paid dividends at River Run, where Power played like a seasoned veteran chasing win No. 10, not win No. 1.
“I consider myself to be a fast learner, and I learned a lot from last week,” he said. “I started trying to force some putts at Irish Creek, and did a poor job of just letting things happen. This week, I just tried to stay in the present and let it happen as opposed to forcing the issue.”
With the victory, Power was awarded a one-year, full membership to River Run Country Club, as part of a promotion put together by the club’s members. Power’s membership will include full access to the golf course and practice facilities, as well as the swim and tennis facilities, and the club’s member dining room.
“It’s fantastic. I live about 10 minutes from here, and can’t wait to come out and use the facility as a member,” said Power. “Just to be able to come out here and putt on some of the best greens around is huge. Add to that the full membership, and it’s a fantastic situation.”
The eagle at the last gave Burke a closing 69 and a 14-under 202 total. The former Eastern Michigan University star earned $8,000 for his play, and moved up to No. 13 on the tour’s money list with $16,093 in earnings.
One of the more celebrated Canadian amateurs over the past five years, Burke is coming into his own on the eGolf Tour with 17 of 19 made cuts since the start of the 2011 season. Winner of the prestigious Canadian Amateur in both 2008 and 2009, Burke now owns two top-10s on the eGolf Tour in 2012 – today’s runner-up, as well as a T6 at the season-opening Palmetto Hall Championship.
Finishing in solo-third-place was Sweden’s Jonas Enander Hedin, who posted rounds of 69-68-69—206 to post the career-best finish, picking up $5,900 for his efforts.
Enander Hedin, a former standout at nearby UNC Charlotte, is in his fourth full season on the eGolf Tour dating back to the 2009 year. The former European Palmer Cup Team member now has two top-10s during that span – a T8 at last year’s Columbia Open, and today’s third-place finish. Thus far in 2012, he has made three of five cuts, and sits at No. 28 on the money list with $9,334 in season-long earnings.
Australian Mitch Krywulycz finished in solo-fourth-place at 7-under 209 for the event, earning $4,570 for his play. The finish marked a third consecutive top-10 for Krywulycz, who posted a career-best runner-up finish at the Irish Creek Classic just seven days ago.
• The tour would like to thank River Run director of golf David Ross, River Run general manager Mike Gardner, and their staffs for all of their help in organizing and running this event. The star of the week was without doubt the River Run golf course, and the greens which rolled at 12.6 on the stimpmeter throughout. River Run head golf course superintendent Ron Ritchie and his crew are to be commended for putting forth a fantastic venue for the tournament. This event would not be possible without the support of the River Run members. A special thanks to them for allowing the tour to use their great facility this week, and for offering the membership bonus to the event’s champion.
• The tour will be off next week before returning to action with the Championship at St. James Plantation in Southport, NC on April 11-14.