Rolex Series

Séamus Power's patience pays off in first-round 66

Séamus Power was happy to see his patience get rewarded after starting the 2023 Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship with a sparkling 66 on Thursday.

Beginning his round from the tenth tee at 07.40, the Irishman opened with eight successive pars before breaking the run with a birdie on the long 18th.

And that opened the floodgates, as he made five more on the homeward nine to head into the clubhouse on six under par and sit just two shots off early leader Luke Donald.

Power said: "It's one of those courses, with the greens, you just have to stay patient. 

"You can hit pretty good shots and then not end up that close to the hole, and that happened to me a couple of times on the back side.

"But I was able to take advantage on the front, and actually got a couple of chances, really, to get it going on the seventh and ninth but overall, a lot of good stuff."

The World Number 29 is making his debut at this event and was impressed by host course Yas Links Abu Dhabi.

The 35-year-old added: "Absolutely incredible. The surroundings and stuff are immaculate. 

"If you can hit it in the right spots you can get to any of the pins, and that's a sign of a good course, and that's what I was able to do on the front there."

Power's countryman Shane Lowry also made a bright start to the week, notching an eagle and three birdies in a bogey-free 67.

Both men were part of the Great Britain & Ireland team that took on Continental Europe at last week's inaugural Hero Cup.

And despite being on the losing side, Lowry learned a lot from the week.

He said: "I'm pretty happy, to be honest. I obviously played the Hero Cup last week, and I didn't play as well or make as many points as I would have liked.

"You're coming out here, first round of the year with a scorecard in your pocket; you don't really know how it's going to go. Good to get out and play some good golf, and to hole some putts toward the end was nice.

"Learned a lot about myself and learned a lot about the team environment again (at the Hero Cup). It was a great week. 

"I was pretty happy with what I got from the week apart from the result."

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