Q&A: Seamus Power
April 14, 2015
By Kevin Prise, PGATOUR.COM
- April 14, 2015
- Seamus Power attended East Tennessee State University. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
After graduating from East Tennessee State University in 2010 with an accounting degree, Seamus Power struggled to find traction in the world of professional golf. The Waterford, Ireland, native had committed to earning his way onto the PGA TOUR – he has resided in North Carolina since college – but until last fall, he hadn’t had much luck at the Web.com Tour Qualifying Tournament.
That changed in 2014. Buoyed by a strong year on the eGolf Tour – 16 cuts made in 17 starts, including two victories – he finished T5 at Final Stage of Q-School to secure strong status for the 2015 season.
Power spent some time with PGATOUR.COM to discuss playing with Rory McIlroy growing up, his success in racquetball, and more:
Which golfer do you most enjoy watching play?
At the moment, Rory McIlroy. He is great to watch play; he stands up and rips it, obviously he’s the best player in the world. I was lucky enough that I was able to play on several teams with Rory growing up, Irish teams, but I haven’t played with him the last few years. Obviously he has taken another step, but he was always very impressive. He would stand up and hit high draws with a driver, it seemed like, when he was 12 or 13 years old, so he was always very impressive.
What is your favorite golf course to play?
Portmarnock GC, at home in Ireland. It’s a really good links golf course at home; I’ve always really liked playing it. My home course is West Waterford G&CC, more of a parkland course, so that’s what I grew up playing … but my favorite one ever is probably Portmarnock.
Who do you admire the most?
That’s a tough one. I don’t know; it’s tough on the grand scale. My own dad is obviously a role model; he would probably be the guy. He always has a positive attitude, even with me with golf, he’s always like, ‘You can do it,’ and he’s very, very positive always. He was always under the impression that nothing is beyond your own reach, if you work toward what you want … always a great message that he preached, and he was always very positive when it comes to stuff like that.
What is your best golf memory?
Probably when I won the Irish Youths Championship at my home course, and it was a birdie putt I made on the 15th green. I had lots of friends and family following me; it was a big moment for me. I’ll always remember that. I was 19, and it was an under-21 tournament. It was great.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
To stay positive. It seems so simple, but at times golf has a lot of ups and downs, so if you can stay positive no matter what’s happening -- keep your eye out and stay positive -- that’s probably by far the best advice I’ve ever gotten.
If you could have an hour-long conversation with one person, who would it be?
I think Tiger Woods, just for golf and just in general. He has reached levels on and off the golf course that have never been touched before, and it would be very interesting … there would be lots and lots of things about golf, being the icon that he was and still is, how to handle that. He changed golf; that’s how I got my interest in golf was the 1997 Masters, just watching him play. I don’t have memory of any other tournament up to maybe 2003 or 2004, but that 1997 Masters, I will always remember watching. There would be a lot of stuff to ask … a lot of his wins, certain shots I remember him hitting and stuff, it would be great.
If you weren’t a golfer, what would you be doing?
I would be in business for sure. I was an accounting major in college, always very good with numbers, so I would be doing something in that field. Math was always by far my strongest subject, and chemistry and physics … everything with numbers and accountancy, all that stuff, I was always very good at. I struggled more with languages and stuff like that.
What’s your favorite thing to do outside of golf?
I love watching sports and that sort of thing; anything sporting on TV is always interesting, and hanging out with friends. I live in Charlotte, and hanging out with friends on the lake in the summer is beautiful. To go on the water, it’s great fun; it’s like paradise. We didn’t have a lot of that while growing up in Ireland, so to see something like that, it’s amazing.
Do you have any hidden talents?
I was top 10 in the world in racquetball when I was 11-12 years old. I have a bronze world championship medal from doubles, so I was very good at racquetball. I occasionally play now, not often.
My dad played a lot of handball, and I come from quite a small village, and he was instrumental in getting a community center built … it was designed as a handball court but we used the same court, and racquetball was just taking off, so I kind of got into that. I played handball and racquetball a little bit. We had a little court and that’s how I got into it; I love playing sports.
I started playing racquetball when I was probably 8 or 9. Golf was after. I played golf for first time around age 11, but didn’t play it regularly for a couple of years. I was good at racquetball before golf; I won a lot of medals in Ireland playing racquetball. A lot of good memories and a lot of good friends playing it.
Did racquetball help in your development as a golfer?
Hand-eye coordination is never going to hurt you. I don’t know about anything else, but just being able to react quickly and stuff like that … it definitely can’t hurt, I don’t think.
What’s at the top of your bucket list?
I would love to get to Australia. I’ve got a brother in Australia, right now, and that’s definitely one thing, I want to get down there and just see what it’s like. I’ve heard a lot of great things about the place, and I would love to get down there.