Hello, Bermuda: returning son Phipps announces himself
Anthony Phipps says he is ready to “rock and roll” at the PGA Bermuda Championship.
The 27-year-old professional is poised to fulfil a dream of competing against the world’s elite golfers at this level, having secured one of three qualifying spots in the local qualifier at Port Royal Golf Course this week.
He finished the 36-hole strokeplay event tied for second on four-over-par 146 with fellow professional and former Korn Ferry Tour player Michael Sims.
“Playing in a PGA Tour event has been my dream since I was a kid,” he said.
“It’s very special being my first event and being here in Bermuda, which is where I learnt how to play golf, so that’s very special to me.”
The Bermudian, who now resides in Florida, has been involved in the sport since his early youth.
“When I was young I was introduced to the game by my grandfather [John Phipps] here in Bermuda,” he said. “I was introduced to the game early, I’d say about 7 or 8, when I was living here early on and played most of the courses around the island.”
At age 10, Phipps moved to the United States where he continued to develop his skills.
“I went to school over in the States and I played in a few junior tournaments growing up over there,” he said. “Then I played college golf at Florida A&M University.
“I played college golf there for four years and then after I graduated [in 2016], I turned pro and have just been grinding ever since.”
Phipps came up short competing in the 2019 local qualifier but would not be denied on the second attempt.
“I played the local qualifier last year and didn’t make it,” he said.
“Heading into the event compared to last year, I was hitting a little bit better and was a bit more mature, and it was good enough to get through.
“I was feeling pretty confident heading in. With Port Royal, the way that course is set up and the conditions, I think it’s a pretty even playing field.”
Phipps shot the lowest round of 70, with four birdies, in the second round to remain on track.
“Coming down the stretch, I was just trying to get the ball in the hole,” he said. “I was pretty consistent on the back nine, steady, and it was enough to get the job done.”
Phipps started the final day in eleventh with ground to make up after carding an opening round of 76.
“I played good in the first round, even though my score didn’t reflect it,” he said. “Even though I didn’t have my best round, I didn’t shoot myself in the foot. I knew I could bring it back in the second round and have a good chance.”
While he lives abroad, Phipps returns home often to compete in tournaments.
“I always come back for the events on the island when I can,” he said. “I played the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship in March and I’m glad everything was able to get back on track for the local qualifier this year.
“After the World Par 3 and Covid-19, obviously there was a lot going on. But I made sure that I kept my build and my rhythm, even though I wasn’t playing a lot of tournaments.”
Having achieved his qualifying objective, Phipps’s focus has since shifted to preparing for the main event.
“I am going to prepare the same way I have been getting ready the last two weeks,” he said.
“I am feeling confident and I know the course, so I am just ready to rock and roll in two weeks’ time.”
Camiko Smith won the local qualifier by five shots after closing with one-under 141.
The Bermuda Championship will be played from October 29 to November 1.