Séamus Power dug deep to keep his victory hopes alive in Sony Open as Graeme McDowell battled his way inside the cut line with a battling 66 in Hawaii.
he West Waterford man overcame a scrappy start to card a two-under 68 and end his day tied for fifth on nine-under at Waialae Country Club.
He was six shots behind Russell Henley, who added a 63 to his opening 62 to lead by four shots from Matt Kuchar (65) on 15-under but pleased to hang around the lead.
“Today was a bit a of a struggle, to be honest, especially early on,” said Power, who drove into water left at the second to drop his first shot after 73 bogey-free holes.
“I hit a couple very loose shots, made a couple bogeys and was able to recover and kind of turn into a couple under. Kind of kept me in it to some extent, but yeah, just a couple things to tidy up there afterwards.”
As McDowell overcame a double-bogey six at the second and made six birdies in a 66 to jump to teeter dangerously on the cut line on four-under, Power lost control early on but still chiselled out his sixth sub-70 score in a row.
He birdied the third, short-sided himself in a bunker and bogeyed the 204-yard fourth but then played his last 10 holes in three under.
After two-putting the ninth to turn in level par, he birdied the 12th, then got up and down from 94 yards for par at the 13th before chipping to 18 inches at the par-five 18th for a closing birdie.
“It was loose early,” Power admitted. “I just lost control of my flight there and it cost me couple shots. So if we can get that back and give myself a few extra chances over the weekend, that’s the plan.”
McDowell racked up a double-bogey six at the second but after staying sharp over Christmas, he was thrilled to make six birdies to get to four-under, and leave himself a nervous wait to make the cut.
“It’s a very important year so I wanted to be ready out of the gates,” said McDowell, whose PGA Tour exemption ends this season. “It was disappointing to make six at two but I was really happy to come back and make six birdies in the next 16 holes.”
On the Asian Tour, Waterford’s Kevin Phelan carded a one-under 71 to make the cut on the seven-over par mark in the Singapore International but Tramore’s Robin Dawson followed an 80 with a 79 to miss out by eight shots.
Phelan was tied for 54th at Tanah Merah Country Club, 12 strokes behind Thailand’s Rattanon Wannasrichan (26), who eagled the 18th for a 66.