Steady Sims still in the mix
Michael Sims refused to get carried away about his prospects of making the cut at the PGA Tour Bermuda Championships despite sitting in a promising position of tied for 85th after shooting a first-round score of one-over par 72 yesterday.
Realising a long-term dream of playing in a PGA Tour event, Sims looked at home in his debut at this level, looking set to finish on a par score up until the last hole at Port Royal Golf Course, with a bogey leaving him frustrated.
The 40-year-old finished the day as leading the way among the five local players, ahead of his second round alongside Jonathan Kaye, of the United States, and Canadian Michael Gligic.
“I really wanted to finish on evens, but it is what it is,” Sims said. “It seemed a bit of a flat round. I didn’t do anything outrageous, I just ground it out and managed to stay at one over.
“Today is today and tomorrow is tomorrow. It’s 36 holes before the cut even happens and so I can’t take anything for granted. I have to stay patient and try and keep making some good shots.
“The course seems to play different every time. The greens seemed a little faster today and the ball certainly seemed to bounce a bit more than it used to.
“The wind also played its part and at certain points it got a little bit tricky, especially if you didn’t hit the fairways. If you missed those it was hard to figure out what the ball might do from certain areas.
“I’ll be out in the earlier tee-off times for the second round and so hopefully the wind dies down a bit and it will make for a different round.
“I think it can make a little bit of a difference playing earlier because the greens seem a little more receptive, so hopefully it paid dividends.”
Meanwhile, fellow local player Daniel Augustus, who came in as the first alternate for the Championship, finished just one shot back of Sims, carding two over par.
For Augustus it proved a morning of mixed fortunes, shooting four birdies on the front nine, before hitting four bogeys on the back nine, including three in a row between holes 10 to 12.
However, for a player who was handed a late opportunity to feature in the prestigious home event, Augustus remained determined to make the most of being part of the momentous occasion, despite the initial nerves.
“That first tee shot was a very unnerving feeling, but a great one. It was like the butterflies of your first kiss mixed with every emotion you can think of,” he said. “I was relieved to hit that first tee shot pure, not spectacular but straight, that definitely settled the nerves.
“In a strange way, we are under more scrutiny than the professional players because everyone knows us.
“It adds pressure because you want to do them proud, but on the flip side it’s great to have that local support.
“I was slightly disappointed to finish better after that front nine, but I’ll take it and look to improve going forward.
“For me, everything is a bonus, I’m playing in a PGA Tour event at home, I really can’t ask for much more.”
Of the remaining three local players Jarryd Dillas shot a 76, 15-year-old Kenny Leseur carded a 77 and Dwayne Pearman finished with the highest score, 80, of the 120 competitors.
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