BERMUDA’S GOLFERS FAIL TO MAKE THE CUT AT BUTTERFIELD BERMUDA CHAMPIONSHIP

 BERMUDA’S GOLFERS FAIL TO MAKE THE CUT AT BUTTERFIELD BERMUDA CHAMPIONSHIP

Bermuda will once again go unrepresented at the weekend stage of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship after Michael Sims, representing the Island’s best chance to qualify, had his game fall apart in the second round on Friday at Port Royal Golf Course.

After darkness had forced play to be suspended on Thursday with Sims about to take on the 16th hole, along with playing partners Brian Morris and American Sahith Theegala, the trio had to complete the first round Friday morning before embarking on the second.

The former Korn Ferry Tour pro ended the first round at two-over-par, (73), with a real opportunity to make the cut with a low second round. However, after an inexplicable double bogey at the dog-leg, right first hole the die was cast, with further bogeys at holes four, six, eight and nine only added more nails to Sims’ coffin, making a pair of birdies on the back nine inconsequential to the cause.

Two additional bogeys on the back left the local with a second day score of 77, for a two-day total of 150 (eight-over), well adrift of the even-par projected cut.

Conversely, Theegala took advantage of the vastly improved scoring conditions, with greens softened by consistent rain the day before, surging over the course of round two to card a five-under-par 66 that included seven birdies and just two bogeys while making it through to the weekend.

Presented with the comment that his body language seemed to have changed upon completion of the leftover holes, Sims disagreed with the proposed assessment.

“I don’t think my body language changed after that one, I know it changed after doubling number one finishing the first round,” said Sims, with a laugh. “I had a really poor back nine and that’s all it takes; you have to be on your game out here.

Further asked if he might have been thrown off in having to complete the initial round before going on to the next, Sims dismissed the suggestion.

“No, not at all,” he responded. “It is what it is. We had three holes to go and then turnaround and go again, but it wasn’t like we had to play 36 today, it wasn’t too bad.

“There were a lot of places I wasn’t that sharp. I drove the ball pretty good _ great actually _ this week, actually chipped it pretty good. Probably from 130 to 160 (yard) I wasn’t that sharp and I needed to make a few more putts.

The one-time unquestioned best of Bermuda vowed to return in another attempt to make it past Friday.

“Oh yeah, I’ll come back to play another one,” he said. “I got to make a cut and play the weekend at some point I’m in this thing.”

And Sims took time to note his enjoyment in being able to participate at the event alongside Morris, his cousin, friend and foe over the course of the two days.

“It was a lot of fun walking with Brian there and I’m just grateful I got the opportunity to share the experience with him.”

Meanwhile, Morris, suffering through advanced stages of brain cancer and lacking comparable power off the greens and in the fairways to the competition again demonstrated no shortage of grit and determination despite mounting stroke totals.

The Ocean View club professional returned a 21-over 92 to go with a first round 89, yet he still managed to advance two spaces up the leaderboard to finish 123 out of a starting field of 126 competitors.

Best on the day for Bermuda was Camiko Smith’s one-under 70 that placed him level with Sims at 150, while remaining Bermudians Chaka DeSilva and Damian Palanyandi ended at 156 and 152 respectively.

Leading the charge into the money rounds is Canada’s Taylor Pendrith at 11-under, closely followed by Patrick Rodgers of the United states at minus-10.
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Trevor Lindsay

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