Séamus Power capitalises on Ben Griffin meltdown to win Butterfield Bermuda Championship
A dramatic collapse from Ben Griffin on the back nine at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship on Sunday scuppered the coronation of a new PGA Tour winner but opened the door for Irishman Séamus Power to grab his second tour victory.
Griffin’s dreams of victory slipped away with a run of bogeys starting at 12, and a double-bogey five on the par-three 16th. That dropped him to 17 under and into a three-way tie for third with fellow American Patrick Rodgers and Taiwan’s Kevin Yu.
Despite the disappointing finale, it was a career-best effort from the PGA Tour rookie.
Power’s round was also far from flawless with three bogeys in four holes starting at the 13th. Those slips almost allowed young Belgian Thomas Detry to take advantage after he holed out from the sand for birdie on the 18th to become clubhouse leader at 18 under par.
In the end, that was only good enough for second place and his third top-15 finish in four starts this season.
Power regained his composure with a birdie on the 17th to give himself a two-shot lead going up the 18th, and that buffer proved crucial as his second shot on the final hole rolled back off the green.
A good wedge gave him two putts for victory and, despite the bogey at the last, he finished with a record 28 birdies and walked away with the winner’s cheque of $1.17 million and a bump to fifth place in the FedEx Cup race.
With Power and Griffin heading out as the final pair two shots clear of the field, they fell into a match-play mentality and Griffin had the edge early.
But after he had completed his victory, Power revealed he was concentrating his efforts on the back nine.
Power said: “I just kept reminding myself if I could just stay in there, I knew there was a stretch where there were very few people not going to drop shots.
“I knew if I had a chance standing on 12, I had a little bit more experience having been there before and having played this tournament a few times before. I thought it would stand to me and it just about did in the end.”
The field continued to find the three wind-exposed par threes among the toughest holes on a course specifically designed to test a player’s mettle at the end of the round. Griffin fell victim to the winds of Port Royal.
Four over for his back nine, he was able to reflect on the reasons behind his poor finish.
“Those are some of the toughest holes coming down the stretch, especially trying to win a PGA TOUR event,” Griffin said.
“I tried my best. I had a couple of shots get loose in the wind and you've got to be a little bit better, more precise, when it gets windy like that or else you can grind for pars and bogeys quick. That happened to me.
“Hats off to Séamus. He played great in the wind. He knows how to play in the wind more than anyone out here. It was a grind for both of us and there was a lot of back and forth most of the front nine and most of the start of the back nine and I just wasn't able to execute and he came out on top. So, hats off to him.”
The victory is Power’s first Tour win since the 2021 Barbasol Championship, in which he came through a play-off that lasted six holes.