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Michael Sims honoured to receive Butterfield Bermuda Championship exemption

Michael Sims (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Michael Sims says he is “honoured and excited” to have received a sponsor’s exemption to compete in this year’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

Organisers announced on Monday that the local professional will not need to qualify this time around for the PGA Tour event, which takes place from November 9 to 12 at Port Royal Golf Course.

“It’s obviously very special and I can’t even describe how excited I am and how happy I am,” an elated Sims told The Royal Gazette.

“It’s an honour to get an exemption into a PGA Tour event and obviously even more special being home in Bermuda.

“When they called and told me I was just shaking. It was so special and is just so nice.”

The exemption has allowed the 44-year-old more time to prepare for what will be his fifth straight appearance in the Butterfield Bermuda Championship and he hopes to make the most of the opportunity.

“Preparation definitely changes and hopefully I’ll be a little more tuned than when I normally am when I come there,” Sims said.

“Last year I flew to Bermuda for the qualifier from the first stage of Q- School after caddying all week. I did the qualifie, flew out to New Mexico caddying for the second stage of Q-School and then basically came back in five days. It’s a lot of wear and tear so it’s nice to receive an exemption for a lot of reasons.”

Sims, who won last year’s Local Qualifier at the par-71 Southampton layout by two shots, will again tee off without any lofty expectations.

“Expectations don’t change. All I can do is give everything I got to every single shot,” he said.

With Sims out of the way, the remaining field in this week’s 54-hole Local Qualifier will fancy their chances of claiming one of the three available spots. The event starts with 36 holes on Tuesday with the remaining 18 holes to be played the following day. Thursday has been reserved as a rain day.

Among those expected to be in the hunt are professionals Camiko Smith, Dwayne Pearman, Chaka DeSilva, Nick Jones and amateurs Jarryd Dillas and Damian Palanyandi, who have all already competed in the main event.

Former European Tour player Kim Swan, who made his debut in last year’s Butterfield Bermuda Championship after receiving a sponsor’s exemption, will also be attempting to achieve a place in the tournament along with fellow professional and Moongate Tour Order of Merit winner Scott Roy.

Also back for another shot is promising amateur Oliver Betschart, who narrowly missed out last time.

There is even more at stake for the field in the Local Qualifier as the golfers who finish fourth, fifth and sixth will secure spots in the Butterfield Bermuda APGA Championship.

That tournament runs at Port Royal from October 26 to 28 with the winner of the APGA event receiving exemption into the Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

Local Qualifier Tee Times

7.40am: Christopher Grantier, Arriek Douglas

7.50am: Scott Roy, Christian Collins, Oliver Betschart

8am: Jarryd Dillas, Chaka DeSilva, Will Haddrell

8.10am: Dwayne Pearman, Nicholas Jones, Justin Watts

8.20am: Damian Palanyandi, Camiko Smith, Eric West

8.30am: Quinton Sherlock, Christopher Smith, Andrew Trott-Francis

8.40am: Jamie Macmillan, Makie De Souza, OJ Pitcher

8.50am: Jeffery Lindo, Lester Cox.

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Published October 17, 2023 at 7:59 am (Updated October 17, 2023 at 8:00 am)

Michael Sims honoured to receive Butterfield Bermuda Championship exemption

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