Séamus Power and Pádraig Harrington finished with Eagle Threes but still have a mountain to climb to claim victories in the US South.
Arrington went into the third round of the season’s inaugural senior major, the Regions Tradition in Alabama, just two shots behind his US Ryder Cup nemesis Steve Stricker.
But while he finished with an eagle three for two under 70, he had 33 putts and fell from tied second to tied fourth, six shots behind Stricker at 11 under par.
“Had trouble today,” said Harrington after making two three-putts and playing his first six holes two over par. “Lost momentum on the greens. Ended up saving the day a bit with an eagle.”
After Harrington three-putted the first for a bogey, Harrington three-putted for a par five in the fifth, then a bogey in the sixth to fall six strokes behind Stricker at Greystone Golf and Country Club.
He would birdie on the eighth and 13th to keep up, but had to make an eagle three on the par-5 18 just to get within six shots of Stricker, who made seven birdies in a six-under 66 to go Alker to take the lead with three shots from Steven to 17 under par.
“We’re great friends, he’s a great guy, he doesn’t take anything personally,” Stricker said of his Saturday pairing with the Dubliner.
“But we finished him off in Whistling Straits. That shows what class of player and type he is. We had a good time out there.”
Alker shot 65 to go 14-under, Miguel Angel Jiménez third at 12-under after a 67, Harrington stayed fourth at 11-under with Australia’s Stuart Appleby (68).
It was also a poor day for Power at the poorly rated AT&T Byron Nelson at TPC Craig Ranch near Dallas.
The West Waterford man mixed three birdies with two bogeys in his first 15 holes to fall from tied ninth place outside the top 40 before chipping in a 30ft for a final eagle three.
With a three under 69, Power was still lapped by the field to sit 14 under par in 18th place.
He’s seven shots behind Colombia’s Sebastian Muñoz, who shot 66 but still leads by just one shot over hometown favorite Jordan Spieth, who shot 64, at 21 under par.
Spieth has competed in the tournament since he was a child and now has a chance to win the week before attempting to close out the career grand slam at the PGA Championship at Southern Hills in Tulsa.
“Having the chance to win this event will be the best chance I might have ever had on Sunday,” said Spieth. “So, it’s really exciting, lots of friends and family along the way, did a good job and didn’t put too much pressure on me.
“I just wanted to get into the race and of course see what needs to be sharpened for next week. But there’s no better preparation for a Major than winning the week before… You can’t take your foot off the gas out here or you’ll get lapped.”
Chilean Joaquin Niemann is third, two strokes behind Muñoz at 19-under, Justin Thomas a stroke behind in tied fourth with James Hahn (61) at 18-under.
“The course is very easy to play,” said Thomas. “You just have to keep your head down and just keep trying to make birdies.”
On the LPGA Tour, Stephanie Meadow made two early birdies but bogeyed the 7th and double bogeyed the 13th to card a 73 in the Cognizant Founders Cup in New Jersey.
She is tied for 69th, 17 shots behind Australia’s Minjee Lee, who at 69 gave her a one-shot lead over Madelene Sagstrom (67) in the 17-under at Upper Montclair Country Club near New York City .
https://www.independent.ie/sport/golf/last-gasp-eagles-look-too-late-for-padraig-harrington-and-seamus-power-in-us-events-41651275.html For Pádraig Harrington and Séamus Power, the dying Eagles look too late at US events