Séamus Power can take his PGA Tour career earnings beyond $5m (€4.37m) with a top-20 finish in this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii.
ut as the Waterford man (34) closes in on his goal of making the world’s top 50 and clinching a place in the Masters, he’s also proving an inspiration to others.
Kinsale’s John Murphy (below), who burst onto the scene by making the final group in last season’s Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, will be joining Power on the PGA Tour next month when he tees it up on a sponsor’s invitation in the $8.7m (€7.6m) AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
“A few contacts I had in the States recommended I request an invite, so I wrote to the tournament and got the news last week,” said 23-year-old Murphy, who will also play the AT&T Byron Nelson near Dallas in May as a reward for winning the 2020 Byron Nelson Award at the University of Louisville.
“It is going to be strange starting my season with a PGA Tour event and then going straight from there to South Africa for the Challenge Tour, but I am very lucky.
“I’ll have two PGA tour starts before the summer even comes around, so hopefully, I can put a marker down.”
Murphy is following in the footsteps of Power, who graduated from East Tennessee State University and is now ranked 63rd in the world.
“I’m really looking forward to the fact that Séamus is going to be there. It’s going to be pretty cool because my parents have been following his progress pretty religiously since he got to the Korn Ferry Tour,” added Murphy, who is practising in Portugal.
“I’d say they’re nearly more excited than I am to see me tee up in the same event. To be able to follow in Séamus’ footsteps, well, that’s the dream, isn’t it.”
Power, who tied for 15th in the Sentry Tournament of Champions last week, is chasing his second PGA Tour win at par-70 Waialae Country Club, where new world No. 10 Cameron Smith, Harris English, Masters champion Hideki Matsuyama and Mexico’s Abraham Ancer are the big names to beat.
But he’s also fully aware of up and coming stars like Murphy.
“It was brilliant to see him in the Alfred Dunhill Links last year,” Power said. “Making the final group that early in a career is serious going and an unreal experience.”
Power finished on 20-under par at the wide-open Plantation Course last week, a whopping 14 shots behind record-breaking winner Smith.
But while he’s not expecting scoring to be as hot this week, he has high hopes.
“It’s a smaller property with smaller fairways, thicker rough and more doglegs, so scoring won’t be as low,” he said.
“In the past, the winning score is normally around 20-under, but it can be wind dependent. It will play a little different this year too, with it being softer. That was also a major factor last week as the rains leading up to these weeks have been substantial.
“I’ve always liked the course without too much success here, but I haven’t felt as good about my game at this point of the year in the past. Hopefully, I can make it count. What pleased me most last week was I felt I was able to continue my good play after a break. I really was in good control, especially after the first round and felt I was very close to an excellent week with a couple of breaks.”
As Power tees it up with Australia’s Cam Davis and Charles Howell III (22:20 Irish time), Tramore’s Robin Dawson and Waterford’s Kevin Phelan compete in the Asian Tour’s $1m (€0.87m) Singapore International at Tanah Merah Country Club.
Dawson is playing on a sponsor’s invitation while Phelan tees up thanks to the status he achieved at the 2019 Asian Tour Q-School.