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Power shaping up to mix with best, insists coach

 

Making strides: Seamus Power has turned around his game
Making strides: Seamus Power has turned around his game

By Brian Keogh

Seamus Power is literally making all the right moves as he bids to become a major PGA Tour star and a Ryder Cup player.

The West Waterford man has enjoyed a significant upsurge in form since turning to Co Down coach Justin Parsons earlier this year, with much of his success down to correcting some niggling physical issues.

"Randy Myers, who is director of fitness at Sea Island, said Seamus was a great athlete with lots of speed and a good short game," said Parsons, who is now the head professional at the prestigious Georgia resort.

"I'd seen videos of Seamus, and I felt his posture wasn't where he needed to be, so we started to chip away at that.

"We then got a medically-minded fitness expert involved because he has some funny issues with his neck and sorting those out led to him being able to rotate better."

Parsons (43) believes Power has the game to become a huge success, and they've set more ambitious goals than merely keeping his card.

"Rather than going from one week to the next, he's set the ceiling a bit higher," Parsons said ahead of this week's Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands, where Power is joined in the field by European Ryder Cup skipper Padraig Harrington and World No.1 Brooks Koepka.

"Seamus wants to be a big-time player, and he wants to play in a lot of Majors and play in the Ryder Cup. And he's clearly got the desire, the work ethic and the resilience to do it.

"He's playing on the biggest stage in the world; he's graduated from eGolf to the Web.com Tour and to the PGA Tour, so his learning curve is impressive.

"So it was a relief to him to discover that some of the puzzling bad shots he was hitting were beyond his control because of his posture, and he's starting to produce some great results."

This week's event marks professional debuts for last week's leading amateur at the US Open, Norwegian Viktor Hovland, as well as former Oklahoma State star and current NCAA individual champion Matthew Wolff, who has taken on Rory McIlroy's former caddie JP Fitzgerald.

On the European Tour, England's Matt Wallace is looking to extend his lead at the top of the Race to Dubai when he defends the BMW International Open at Golf Club Gut Larchenhof in Munich.

After finishing second at the Dubai Desert Classic in January, tied second and tied third at the British Masters and US PGA and tied 12th in the US Open last week, he's not worried that he has yet to pick up a fourth European Tour win.

"Someone asked me the other day, would I change the results in Majors for a win," the World No.24 said. "I don't think I would because I've tried to improve my results in Majors. I want to win big tournaments now."

Irish golf has three players in the field with Paul Dunne, 70th in the Race to Dubai, joined by Gavin Moynihan and Michael Hoey, who are 131st and 145th.

On the LPGA Tour, Leona Maguire and Stephanie Meadow are in Major action in the $3.85m KPMG Women's PGA Championship at 6,741-yard Hazeltine National in Minnesota.

The title will be defended by South Korea's Sung Hyun Park.

"Hazeltine is such an iconic venue," said Maguire, who received an invitation from KPMG to tee it up at a venue that has hosted the Ryder Cup, two PGA Championships as well as the US Open and the US Women's Open.

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