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Power’s rise on PGA Tour coincides with move to Las Vegas

When Seamus Power was in Las Vegas in April, he was grinding on the Korn Ferry Tour at Paiute Golf Resort.

Six months later he was back on the course at the Shriners Children’s Open, but this time he was playing in a featured group as a PGA Tour winner.

It was a whirlwind year for Power, who begins 2022 this week in Maui at the elite Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua. It just goes to show how fickle golf can be, Power said.

“That’s the nature of the sport we’re in,” Power said. “Things can change very quickly.”

They certainly did for Power, who made his way into some PGA Tour events in the late spring and summer and never looked back. He had a spectacular run, a six-tournament stretch that included four top-10s and nothing worse than 19th, culminating with a victory at the Barbasol Championship in July.

His world ranking went from 429th at the start of 2021 to 72nd to start 2022.

Power is beyond grateful for the opportunities golf has given him.

“Any year I get to play this game is one less year I don’t have to get a real job,” he said. “The win obviously gives me two full years (of being exempt), and that’s huge, and it gives me the opportunities to maybe get another win.”

Guaranteed status and playing as a PGA Tour winner also allow him to set his schedule weeks in advance, something that was never the case in the past.

“Setting your own schedule is huge,” he said, eliminating the need to try to Monday qualify for events or to see if his status is good enough to make a field. “It’s just really nice. It’s easier because you know what you have to prepare for.”

Power’s rise in the golf world coincides with his decision to move to Las Vegas, a decision he made last spring.

The native of Waterford, Ireland, Power had called Charlotte, North Carolina, home in recent years. But with a cousin in Las Vegas as well as a few other friends, he would come to Southern Nevada often, he said.

“I would visit probably four or five times a year for a few days here and there, or if we were on the West Coast I’d spend my off weeks here,” he said. “Now it’s nice to be out here permanently and have my own spot here.”

Power has taken to the region, enjoying the hiking and other outdoor recreation available as well as the nightlife.

“There’s just so much to do, and for my schedule it’s just perfect,” he said. “My off days are normally Mondays and Tuesdays, and it’s nice here with everyone working different schedules there’s always people to hang out with and always things to do.”

Power has adopted TPC Summerlin and TPC Las Vegas as his home courses, a perk that comes with tour membership. The courses are a great place to work on his game. Both are just minutes from his south Summerlin home.

Power is part of a huge influx of tour professionals now making their homes in Las Vegas. At this week’s Tournament of Champions in Maui, four of the 39 players in the field now live here: Collin Morikawa, Kevin Na, Xander Schauffele join Power, Former UNLV player Garrick Higgo is also in the field.

In fact, there are 17 players either living in Southern Nevada or to have come out of UNLV with PGA Tour status this season, not to mention many others on the LPGA, PGA Champions and Korn Ferry tours.

Almost all of them mention the lack of state tax, recreation, entertainment, climate and the ease of getting in and out of the city as reasons for the move.

Power is no exception, particularly when it comes to traffic. He said he laughs when people think it’s an issue here.

“There’s no traffic in Las Vegas,” he said. “I lived in Charlotte, and you’d spend hours of your day stuck in traffic.”

Greg Robertson covers golf for the Review-Journal. He can be reached at grobertson@reviewjournal.com.

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