Strong round puts Sims in charge
Michael Sims will carry a slim lead into the final round of the Bermuda Championship Qualifier at Port Royal Golf Course.
The former Web.com Tour player fired a four-under-par 67, including six birdies and a double bogey, during yesterday’s opening round to claim the halfway lead of the 36-hole tournament by one shot over amateur Jarryd Dillas.
After making the turn at one under, Sims caught ablaze coming in as he rolled in four consecutive birdies to dip to five under with four holes to play.
A double bogey at the 15th halted the professional’s charge.
However, it only proved to be a minor hiccup as he quickly regained his footing, getting up and down for birdie at the 17th.
“Today’s round was a really good round,” Sims said. “I made a really good putt on No 8 for par and then a really good putt on 9 and that seemed to really kind of get me going. I just played really solid.
“The golf course is in immaculate condition, the greens are rolling really nice, and very nice pairing as well. We all seemed to be playing pretty well; it was a lot of fun.”
Dillas also thrived in the favourable conditions on the way to an equally impressive three under par, including four birdies and a bogey.
He was two under through 15 holes before making bogey at the course’s signature 16th.
However, like Sims, Dillas bounced back, rolling in back-to-back birdies to go to three under par and place himself thick in the hunt for the three spots for the upcoming inaugural Bermuda Championship up for grabs.
“I just wanted to stay patient and give myself as many chances as possible and I did that,” Dillas said. “I think I only missed two greens today and I putted well. I holed a couple of good putts.
“The greens are a touch on the slow side, so I had to adjust to that. But I really feel I got quite a bit out of my round. You can always feel like you leave one or two out there, but overall I’m really happy and looking forward to tomorrow.
“It’s a long way to go. The forecast for tomorrow is for quite a bit of wind, so there’s still a lot of work to do. But I’m really proud of myself and couldn’t have got off to a better start.”
Three shots further off the lead in third is professional Camiko Smith, who carded an even-par 71, which included four birdies, a double bogey and two bogeys. Smith was two under through ten holes after rolling in four straight birdies to bounce back from a double bogey at No 4. But he lost a bit of momentum after making two bogeys coming in. I would have liked to have finished at least under par going into the next day, but I’ll take even,” he said.
“I got off to a bumpy start, had a double bogey at No 4 and just couldn’t get nothing going.
“I birdied 7, 8, 9 and 10 which got me back to one under and bogeyed 14 and 18, which got me back to even.”
“A few loose shots need tightening up. But overall I’m happy with even; it’s pretty solid.”
Professional Brian Morris sits in fourth at two over par, one shot ahead of a bunch of players tied at three over par, which includes 15-year-old amateur Kenny Leseur.
The Bermuda Championships will be held at Port Royal from October 28 to November 3.
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