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Sims keeps PGA Tour in his sights

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Some people take a vacation and are able to switch off from work for a couple of weeks . . . not professional golfer Michael Sims.

Sims is back home spending the holidays with family but much of his time is either spent playing and working on his golf game at the nearby Port Royal course or just thinking about his game.

His mind is never far from golf. It has been that way since he left Bermuda a decade ago to play full time in the US, and will be that way for some time to come as he pursues his goal of playing on the PGA Tour.

“Moving forward, the biggest goal is getting through Q School and getting PGA Tour status but I got some web.com Tour status,” said Bermuda’s top player, now 33. “Everything is happening for me, you don’t get to the top overnight. There’s been a lot of young guys who have had some early success but sometimes things take time.

“It was a good year for me. I accomplished some of the goals that I set out to do but still have some work to do. I don’t think my age has anything to do with it, if anything it has benefited me to know what I have to do and to know myself a little bit better.”

Sims has racked up plenty of air and road miles and seen plenty of different golf courses since becoming a full time golfer 11 years ago. Last year he estimated he played between “28 and 32 tournaments, maybe more” on the eGolf and Web.com Tours and a tentative 2013 schedule for the eGolf Tour calls for a hectic 23 tournaments on the east coast.

“Last year I was up and down the east coast quite a bit, mostly in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia area for golf tournaments,” he explained.

“The tour I was playing on, the e-Golf Tour, they base themselves around Charlotte and it is easy travel in and out of there. I live in southern Georgia, an hour south of Savannah in St. Simons Island. I have status on the web.com tour but I don’t know the first event I’m going to be playing in yet because I have conditional status and have to wait and see if I’m in the field.”

There have been many frustrating moments for the Bermudian on the golf course, but getting through Qualifying School and securing a spot on the world’s most prestigious Tour remains something he is determined to do sooner rather than later. It consumes him and giving up is not an option.

“It’s like anything, it’s my job,” he stressed. “That’s what I love, every job has got its ups and down. Everybody goes through the same range of emotions as I do, it’s just that everybody else is on a different platform and mine just happens to be out there in front of people. But it’s what I like to do.”

Sims will return to the US this weekend and begin preparing for two season-opening tournaments on the eGolf Tour in mid-February in South Carolina. Tournaments are scheduled to run until October as Sims drives forward towards the ultimate goal of playing on the PGA Tour. There will also chances to showcase his talent on the Web.com Tour.

“In the next couple of years I want to be on the PGA Tour and win on the PGA Tour,” he said boldly. “It’s not a dream it’s what I work for, plain and simple. That’s all I focus on. It’s something that’s very attainable for me, I need to just go out there and get it done.”

Added the son of former top Bermuda tennis pro, Bruce Sims: “I like to play a lot and will definitely be playing a lot of tournaments next year.

“Everybody thinks you are out there playing golf and think it must be a lot of fun, but they don’t see the driving and the work and time that goes into it. Behind the scenes there are a lot more done than people see in any job. You sit there and watch boxing and the top boxers and it’s unbelievable what they do when training for a fight.”

Sims’ tight schedule hasn’t permitted him to come back for the Bermuda Open for several years, but he does keep in touch with his Bermuda roots and he looks forward to visits back home to see his family and friends.

“The Bermuda Open always seems to conflict with an event I’m playing in overseas and it’s hard for me to miss a Web.com tournament to come home and play in that,” he stressed.

“I have been playing a bunch of golf since I’ve been home. I go up to Port Royal, it’s close to my house and kind of where I grew up. Everybody knows me up there and I love going up there.

“It’s touching with all the people who come up to me and say they are following me. It’s very nice to come back to the Island and see all the support and I’m very grateful for it. The nice things people say to my parents is very, very special. Golf is a humbling game and it’s great to have the support.”

Up and coming player Daniel Augustus also has his sights on playing on overseas tours and Sims has no doubt his game will improve with the exposure.

“Daniel and I text back and forth a little bit,” Sims disclosed. “The biggest thing is you have to step off the Island and test yourself against what is outside of here. You have to go and see what your game does abroad because there are a lot of good players everywhere in this world.

“Even the mini tours in the United States have a lot of really good players. You also have to know where you want to play and work towards that. I went to college in the States and played amateur golf in the States and starting my junior year in college I knew that was the direction I wanted to go in. Timing is everything and I wouldn’t have been ready right out of college to play on the Tour, whereas as you get a little bit older you get wiser.

“I feel like I’m a way better player through the end of this year than I was last year. I’ve had a lot of really good people helping me and there have been a lot of good things going on this year so I’m very positive.”

Photo by Glenn Tucker Michael Sims with father Bruce, formerly the Island's top ranked tennis player.
Photo by Glenn Tucker Michael Sims, home for the holidays, finds a novel way to practice his putting on his parents' diving board.

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Published December 31, 2012 at 8:32 am (Updated December 31, 2012 at 8:32 am)

Sims keeps PGA Tour in his sights

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