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'This changes everything for me' - Séamus Power wins first PGA Tour title after playoff epic

The Waterford man finally bettered American JT Poston on their sixth extra hole to pocket $630,000 and earn a host of other career rewards.

Power celebrates with the trophy.
Power celebrates with the trophy.
Image: SIPA USA/PA Images

SÉAMUS POWER BECAME a PGA Tour title winner on his 106th start after edging out JT Poston in a tense sudden-death playoff at the Barbasol Championship in Kentucky.

Waterford’s Power, 34, and North Carolina native Poston, 28, matched each other on five extra holes before the American found water off the tee on what was their fourth visit to the par-four 18th.

Poston dropped a shot and, still seeking par, dragged his approach wide of the green, eventually getting up and down for bogey. Power, who had found the green in regulation with aplomb, was left with two putts for the tournament. He almost drained the first for birdie, but instead parred from inches to pocket the $630,000 winner’s cheque.

Power also earned starts in the Sentry Tournament of Champions, The Players Championship and the PGA Championship next year as well as a two-year Tour exemption — rewards of which he was seemingly not aware when he was informed by an interviewer afterwards.

“I didn’t even know half of the stuff you said there,” Power said. “It’s been a bit of a struggle of a season early but I had found a bit of form recently.

This changes everything for me. Forever, now, I’ll be able to say I’m a winner on the PGA Tour.

“It’s not going to sink in yet but I couldn’t be more proud of Simon [Keelan, caddy]– I just have too many people to thank. It’s unbelievable.”

Power birdied two of the last three regulation holes to shoot a five-under 67 while Poston made double bogey at the par-5 15th and a bogey at the par-3 16th to stumble into the playoff with a 70.

The playoff began at the par-4 18th, where Power chipped in from the fringe for birdie and Poston rolled in a birdie putt from just outside 10 feet to extend matters.

Both parred 18 on the second playoff hole and then parred the par-3 ninth on the third and fourth extra holes, sending the playoff back to 18, where both parred the fifth extra hole and Power won it with another four on the next attempt.

Poston missed the cut in four of his past six starts but also produced his top major finish, sharing 40th at the US Open last month at Torrey Pines. Power, meanwhile, has now finished inside the top 20 on six consecutive outings, including three top 10s.

Poston birdied the par-3 second after landing his tee shot within five feet of the hole, then sank a 20-foot eagle putt at the par-5 fifth.

After making a bogey at the sixth, Poston answered with an 18-foot birdie putt at the par-4 seventh.

Great approaches set up birdie putts from within four feet at the par-5 eighth and 11th holes to put Poston on 24-under with a four-stroke lead.

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But Poston went out of bounds left off the tee at the par-5 15th and made double bogey, then made a three-putt bogey at the par-3 16th to stumble back to 21-under.

Power, meanwhile, made a 14-foot birdie putt at the 16th and sank a three-footer to birdie the 18th in shooting a 67 to reach 21-under in the clubhouse.

When asked following his victory if he realised at the time that his final birdie might be enough to squeeze into a playoff, Power replied: “No, honestly, I didn’t.

“I’m not a big leaderboard watcher and I had a horrible lip-out on 17.

“No, I didn’t. Probably thankfully! It was probably a good thing. You never know what might have happened.”

© – AFP, 2021, with reporting from Gavan Casey

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