Seamus Power hitting his stride at age 35

When Padraig Harrington competed in the 2016 Olympics, the three-time major winner was quickly impressed with the Korn Ferry Tour player who was his teammate on the Irish squad. Harrington saw plenty of potential in the powerful, 6-foot-3 frame of his countryman, and made it his mission to clearly convey that message during their time in Brazil.

“I remember at the time looking at a few players and pointing them out and saying, ‘This is a player who is top-20 or top-10 in the world and you are far better than him. He just thinks he is and you don’t,’” Harrington recalled recently. “I don’t know if that had any influence, but I just wanted him to believe in himself. The more you believe you belong, the more you belong.”

Seamus Power does, indeed, belong.

After a successful fall season that included his second PGA TOUR victory, Power will begin 2023 atop the FedExCup standings and likely in the top 30 of the world ranking. A former teammate of Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry on Irish amateur squads, Power is now in the conversation to join them at next year’s Ryder Cup.

Power, 35, finished in the top five in his final three PGA TOUR starts of 2022, including a win at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship. He is a bit of an outlier in an age when twentysomethings lighting up their launch monitors is fodder for engagements on social media. Power’s steady progression is a testament to perseverance, and he credits his success to learning his limits instead of swinging for the fences.

He missed at Q-School in his first four attempts, spending multiple years on the mini-tours before advancing to the Korn Ferry Tour for the first time in 2015. He earned his first PGA TOUR card after two years on the Korn Ferry Tour, but failed to qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs in three of his first four seasons.

Self-belief kept him from quitting, with Harrington’s words serving to solidify his confidence.

“I’ve always felt like this is in there,” Power said. “That’s why we play, that’s why you’re out here.”

As recently as the spring of 2021, he was competing in Korn Ferry Tour events and ranked outside the top 400 in the world. He won his first PGA TOUR title, the Barbasol Championship, that summer. By the beginning of this year, he’d cracked the top 50 in the world ranking.

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