BY MICHAEL O’LEARY
Last week, Kilkenny Golfer Mark Power competed in his second Walker Cup in St. Andrews, Scotland having competed previously two years ago in 2021 in Seminole, Florida.The recent Wake Forest graduate performed consistently during his four years Stateside, as he helped them to two Team titles with a string of top 25 finishes that involved World Class competitiors. Mark’s talent was marked from a very young age and he matched that talent with a string of victories. He was twice a winner of The Irish Open Boys Championship in 2016 and 2017, while he was a three time winner of The Irish Boys Order of Merit from 2016-2018. Also, he competed for Ireland at U-16 and U-18, while in 2016 he competed in The European Young Masters and two years later in 2018 he was a Semi-Finalist at The British Boys Championship.
His sporting ability was not just confined to Golf, as in 2016 he was part of The Kilkenny Soccer Team that won the U-17 All-Ireland Final.
Mark is the son of Eileen Rose and Eddie Power who both acheived and won plenty on The Golf circuit. Eileen Rose was a three winner of The Irish Ladies Championship in 1990, 1992 and 1995, while she was a member of The Ireland and Great Britain Team that competed in The 1994 Curtis Cup. Meanwhile, Eddie was a three time winner of The Irish Mens Championship in 1987, 1993 and 1998 and was a regular winner on The amateur circuit around The country.
Mark performed splendidly in The 2021 Walker Cup as he scored three out of a possible four points, winning both of his foursome matches and one of his Singles matches. Ireland and Great Britain lost out 14-12 overall as The US retained The Cup. The Kilkenny native has also competed for Ireland in The World Championship, while in 2021 and 2022 he participated in The Irish Open in Mount Juliet. Another highlight for Mark came in 2020, when he was part of the successful International Squad that won The Arnold Palmer Cup against The US in Florida during the height of COVID-19, that was originally scheduled for Lahinch Co. Clare – Lahinch will actually host The 2024 Arnold Palmer Cup -.
Mark Power performed superbly last weekend in St. Andrews where he won three out of his four matches between The Foursomes and Singles, but unfortunately it was disappointment for Ireland and Great Britain as they lost out 14 1/2 to 11 1/2 having led 7 1/2 to 4 1/2 going into the second and final day.
Mark lost his opening Foursomes match 3 and 2 as Ireland and Great Britain took a 3-1 lead, but he won his Singles match on Saturday by 1 hole as the team took a three point lead heading into Sunday.
The Kilkenny native teamed up with fellow Irish golfer Liam Nolan for a 4and3 win in the morning Foursomes on Sunday, while he won his singles match in he afternoon 3 and 1 but unfortunately to no avail as USA produced a strong finish to defend The Walker Cup.
However, it was a memorable experience for The recent US graduate. “That US team is unbelievably talented. We all knew how highly ranked they were and we tried to block it out, but I think they really showed their class this afternoon.
“We gave it everything. Everyone wanted to do it for each other. Management, players were giving it everything. We felt like we gave ourselves the absolute best chance to get it done. Unfortunately we just didn’t quite have everything this afternoon. But it’s been an unbelievably memorable week. I’ll take so much from this, my last amateur event.”
Attention for Mark will now turn to the Professional ranks where he will be hoping to have success.