Michael Sims plans to go the distance
Michael Sims hopes to go where no Bermudian has gone before at the Butterfield Bermuda Championship which begins at Port Royal Golf Course today.
The 42-year-old professional has set his sights on making the cut and going the distance at the 72-hole PGA Tour event – a feat no local player has achieved to date.
“I think setting the goal of just trying to make the cut is where you fall short,” Sims told The Royal Gazette. “My goal may be a little bit loftier than that so that we can move forward through this thing and play Saturday and Sunday and have some fun on those two days as well.
“I feel good going in and my game is as good as its going to be.”
The former Web.com Tour player punched his ticket after securing a four-shot victory at this month’s 36-hole local qualifying event at Port Royal.
Asked does his previous experience at the Bermuda Championship bode well for his chances of achieving his objective this year, Sims said: “Experience always helps in anything I think. But we are playing on a different golf course than we were last year and when I say that I mean conditions are way different than they were last year; it’s going to be way softer.
“The golf course seems to be in excellent shape again and I’m really looking forwards to just teeing it up and play really well.”
Sims is also eager to be paired alongside compatriot Brian Morris.
The Ocean View Golf Club head golf professional, who is battling brain cancer, received a sponsor exemption to compete in the event.
“I’m looking forward to playing and extremely honoured and humbled that I get to enjoy this walk with Brian,” Sims added. “It’s going to a be special couple of days for both of us and definitely for him.
“What better message there is to always continue fighting because good things come to people who battle the hardest.”
Morris received an enormous confident boost after legendary player Jack Nicklaus paid a moving tribute to him last week.
“Jack did that and he [Morris] said other people reached out to him, which is definitely touching,” Sims said. “It’s pretty cool how somebody from this little rock can reach the eyes and hearts of so many outside of it.”
Sims is also excited to be paired in the same threesome with Sahith Theegala. The American is ranked 44th in the FedEx Cup rankings and at 23 is one of the youngest players in the field.
“I’m stoked to see what this kid has got,” Sims added. “I’ve heard nothing but really good things about him.
“I think the group that I have this year is pretty humbling. Brian and then this young stud, so it’s going to be pretty cool.”
Camiko Smith and fellow professional Chaka DeSilva and amateur Damian Palanyandi are the remaining local players in the field.