Sims determined to enjoy the fruits of his labour
A long-time dream of playing in a PGA Tour event will become reality for Michael Sims when he tees off in the opening round of the inaugural Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course today.
The Bermudian is making his debut at this level among a field boasting 49 PGA Tour champions with a combined 130 victories, including former Masters and PGA Championship winners Mike Weir and Davis Love III.
“It’s a dream come true and I’m really looking forward to it,” Sims said.
The professional qualified after finishing tied for first along with amateurs Jarryd Dillas and Kenny Leseur at the 36-hole Bermuda Championship Local Qualifier also held at Port Royal this month.
“What an opportunity it was for me to be able come home and qualify and I get to play in my first PGA Tour event that I was working towards for so many years,” Sims said.
He will play among a threesome including Jonathan Kaye, of the United States, and Canadian Michael Gligic during the opening two rounds of the 72-hole championship, where $3 million in prize money and 300 FedExCup points are on offer.
Sims’s first task is to try and make the cut, a feat he will look to make early inroads towards over the opening 18-holes.
So what is his strategy? “Just got to go out there and take one shot at a time and just enjoy the walk,” Sims said. “That’s kind of going to be the theme for the week.”
The 40-year-old is no stranger to the bigger stage having played initially on the Nationwide Tour and then its successor the Web.com Tour, second only to the PGA Tour.
He achieved his best showing at that level competing in the 2013 BMW Charity Pro-Am Presented by Synnex Corporation, where he finished tied for ninth.
Today he returns to the same course where he captured a maiden Bermuda Open title in 2005 and fired a seven-under-par 64, which was a record on the old course.
Asked whether playing in familiar surroundings will work in his favour, Sims replied: “Not against these guys, they are just too good.
“They get their numbers in, they know what’s going on. They do this for a living, so it is [an advantage] and it isn’t.”
Sims says the par-71 Southampton layout, designed by world-renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Sr, is in excellent condition.
“It’s in the best shape I have ever seen it,” he added. “The staff, including everybody up in the shop, inside the clubhouse, have done a fantastic job of getting this ready.
“Every time I walk by, I try and thank them because it doesn’t go unnoticed and I think everybody that comes out here will see that.”
Sims is among five local players in the field which also includes amateurs Dillas and Leseur and fellow professionals Dwayne Pearman and Daniel Augustus. Pearman was granted a sponsor’s exemption while Augustus comes in as the first alternate from the local qualifier.
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