Sims narrowly misses cut as locals bow out
Michael Sims finished highest among the five local players at the PGA Tour Bermuda Championships, just missing the cut after carding a one-under par 70 to go with his one-over on the opening day at Port Royal.
“I played really, really well today,” said Sims. “I had a couple of unfortunate breaks and it definitely cost me a little bit out there.
“I got off to a really good start, I think I was three-under through five, three-under through four, and things were just kind of cruising along. I birdied seven and then took an unfortunate break on nine and that seemed to slow down the momentum just a little bit.”
Sims admits yesterday's one-under par was a proud achievement in a PGA Tour event. “Well, first of all, I don't know if I would have ever believed I was playing in a PGA Tour event in Bermuda,” he replied.
“Hats off to the Bermuda Tourism Authority for getting this event here, and all the sponsors. And you've got to give it up for the guys that are just taking care of this golf course, up and around this pro shop.
“Everybody here has just done a phenomenal job. The golf course is fantastic, we've never seen it like this. Then all the support from the locals and everything has been second to none.
“I had a nice little crowd out there following me around today. It feels good. I know I'm walking straight and I'm keeping my head down, but it feels good to have everybody out there and cheering us on.”
Daniel Augustus, an alternate after the recent qualifiers, was the second-best Bermuda finisher with a two-round score of 147 after adding a 74 to his 73 on the first day.
Jarryd Dillas shot a two-over par 73 to go with his 76 on Thursday for a two-round 149. It was not good enough to make the cut, but a memorable experience for Dillas nonetheless.
“I played really well tee to green, but struggled on the green, both days to be honest,” he admitted.
“The scores were indicative of the way I played, I controlled the ball quite well, but really struggled on the greens. The support the local players received was just fantastic.
“I'm really grateful to PH Horgan, the PGA Tour, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Bermuda Government for bringing the event here. This is the pinnacle of the sport and to be a part of the first year is an honour. A lot of other locals are looking forward to the qualifiers next year, if there is to be one, which I hope there is. The best part about this is that it will help grow the sport. We had a junior on Sunday and to see so many kids, some familiar and some new ones, there is no reason why in a few years' time some of those kids can't be playing in this event.
“I would like to have played better, but looking back it has been a great two days. I enjoyed playing with Ted [Purdy] and Spike [McRoy] the last two days. You see the difference between your own game and at that level.
“This is their job, what they do, and they're not at the top of the sport by accident. Where I struggle is wedge play, around the green and on the greens putting. It was no different these past two days.”
Kenny Leseur is one of those youngsters whose golf game is already going to new heights, after he became one of the youngest qualifiers of a PGA Tour event at the age of 15. He finished the two days with scores of 77 and 75.
“All the support from the locals has been second to none,” said Leseur who is a student at a golf academy in Florida.
“I had a nice crowd following me around today and it feels good to have everybody out there cheering us on.”
Leseur was full of praise for Port Royal for hosting an outstanding tournament with some competitive golf played so far.
“Everybody here has done a phenomenal job, the golf course is fantastic, playing a little different than we ever see it,” he stated.
Veteran Dwayne Pearman, who got a sponsors exemption, was Bermuda's oldest player in the tournament at 56. Pearman, for so long Bermuda's top player, battled over the two days before shooting the two highest rounds, 80 and 79 to finish bottom of the field.
“I shot a 79, not a great score, but I feel I hit the ball better yesterday than I did today,” Pearman said after his round. “My short game, chipping and putting, was off both days.
“That's golf and I will take what I got. I'm just happy to be able to play in a PGA Tour event in my later years. I played with Scott Harrington and Heath Slocum, two good players who hit the ball pretty good.
“I'll probably have to qualify next year, but I'll try again. At least I can say I played in one, which I'm grateful for.”