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Bermudian players out to make history at Butterfield Bermuda Championship

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Jarryd Dillas arrives for practice at Port Royal Golf Course on the eve of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship yesterday (Photograph Colin Thompson)
Nick Jones during practice at Port Royal Golf Course yesterday on the eve of his Butterfield Bermuda Championship debut (Photograph Colin Thompson)

Michael Sims, Nick Jones, Jarryd Dillas and Kim Swan will launch their bids to go where no local player has gone before when they tee off in the opening round of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course on Thursday.

No Bermudian has yet made the cut at the PGA Tour event, but every member of this foursome will be gunning to change that over the next two days.

“Making the cut is something we all want to do but is something that has not been done before,” Dillas told The Royal Gazette.

“That comes from obviously playing well. It’s a result of putting it all together on the day and there will good breaks and bad breaks and how you react to all that.”

Sims, Jones and Dillas secured the three qualifying spots available at the Local Qualifier, while former European Tour player Swan received a sponsor’s exemption.

Sims won the Local Qualifier for the second straight year and is making his fourth successive appearance in the main event.

“I am really excited and looking forward to playing,” the former Web.com Tour player said.

“I don’t have any expectations, I just want to go out there and do my thing. Just be present on every shot and see what I can do, see where we go from there.

“I feel like I am swinging good at it and if I just get some putts to drop, we’ll have a fun couple of days.”

Progressive Labour Party MP Kim Swan, who is the oldest player in the field at age 65, is also looking forward to the wonderful opportunity to showcase his skills among the world’s elite in familiar settings.

“I am honoured with the opportunity to play again at the highest level,” Swan said. “It is a nostalgic stroll down memory lane on the course I grew up on and where I won three Bermuda Open Championships before the age of 28.”

Swan also intends to stay in the present and not get ahead of himself.

“My goal is to stay in the present tense and focus on playing one shot at a time with confidence,” he added.

The St George’s West MP has left no stone unturned in his preparation for the big show.

“I am pleased with the progress I have made over the past six to 12 months particularly,” Swan said.

“I have put in the time and I’m pleased with my game and control over the ball. I have transformed my body physically and regained a great deal of my shot making ability.

“The preparation which took me to the United States and United Kingdom has played a huge part in rediscovering form.”

Jones is also making his debut in the championship this year and he warmed up for the event by playing overseas.

“I spent two weeks playing tournaments in Florida trying to sharpen my game and my form is good,” he said.

“It’s an experience like no other getting to play with the best players in the world and these players are like nothing else. Playing against players of this calibre is daunting, but I am ready. I’m going to do my best to take it one shot at a time and each and every moment as it comes.”

Dillas is one of four amateurs in the field and is making his second appearance in the championship but his first since 2019.

“I am really excited to get going,” he said. It’s obviously a bit of pressure there with expectations and things internal and external, but I am playing well and feel good, so it’s about trying to give myself as many opportunities as possible and see what it adds up to at the end of the day. I have a good plan and just have to put it all together.

“I have been playing a lot of competitive golf coming in and I feel better prepared definitely than I did in 2019 so we will see.”

Jones will be the first local player to tee off today at 9.19am, followed by Dillas at 9.25am, Swan at 1.37pm and Sims at 1.48pm.

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Published October 27, 2022 at 7:42 am (Updated October 27, 2022 at 7:42 am)

Bermudian players out to make history at Butterfield Bermuda Championship

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