Ireland’s Seamus Power fired a third straight 65 on Saturday to grab a share of the third-round lead alongside rookie Ben Griffin at the Bermuda Championship.
Power, the highest-ranked player in the field at 48th in the world, is making good on his aim of impressing European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald with his performance at Port Royal Golf Club in Southampton, where the winds picked up as expected on Saturday.
“You knew you had to make your score by the first probably 11 holes,” said Power, who did just that with four birdies in a row from the 2nd through the 5th and two more at the 9th and 11th.
He rebounded from a double-bogey at the par-three 13th with birdies at 16 and 17, his six-under effort giving him an 18-under par total of 195.
With wind whipping, Power said he knew conditions would be tough from the 13th onward.
“I hit some good shots,” he said. “Even on 13 I thought I hit a very good four-iron, but the ball’s in the air off the elevated tee and just keeps moving and moving and misses on the short side and you make a double.
“Even on I think 15 I had a pitch shot that kind of summed it up. I ended up in a funny spot off the tee, I had 50 yards for a pitch shot and I aimed my pitch shot about 10 yards left of the pin and ended up right of the pin.
“It was just one of those days. Your imagination had to keep working,” added Power, who won his first PGA Tour title last year at the Barbasol Championship and had a career-high five top-10 finishes last season. “I putted well, which is a huge bonus in wind like this.”
Griffin, who earned his PGA Tour card through the Korn Ferry developmental tour last season after nearly walking away from golf, said he thought the blustery conditions suited him.
“I feel like the wind, that’s kind of a strength of my game,” said the American, who capped his five-under par 66 with his sixth birdie of the day at 18 to claim his share of the lead.
“I can hit the low shots, the flighted shots. So it was fun out there.”
Power and Griffin had a two-shot lead over Taiwanese rookie Kevin Yu and Australian Aaron Baddeley.
Yu bounced back from bogeys at the 15th and 16th with birdies at 17 and 18 in his 67 while Baddeley carded a 68.
Overnight leader Ben Crane, who charged up the leaderboard on Friday with a nine-under 62, carded a 73 that dropped him to a share of ninth, six shots off the lead.
South Africa’s Eric van Rooyen is on nine under (T28) after a third-round 72.
© Agence France-Presse