Michael Sims will be among those seeking to claim Rafael Becker’s vacant title when the Grey Goose World Par 3 Championship tees off at Turtle Hill Golf Club today.
The former Web.com Tour player finished tied for third in last year’s event at the par-54 Fairmont Southampton layout and if all goes accordingly hopes to make further inroads towards the championship.
“I would love to do better than I did last time,” Sims, 32, said.
“We have some pretty good players down here this year and I’m really looking forward to getting out there and having some fun.
“The golf course is in fantastic shape and the weather looks like it’s going to co-operate with us, which will be really nice.”
After today’s opening round Sims will have his locks shaved at the Docksider Pub at 5.30pm to help raise funding for charity.
“I’m raising money for the ‘Locks of Love’ and St Baldrick’s charity all in the same go,” Sims added. “I have raised $9,300 so far and hopefully I can raise some more money for a very worthy cause.
“It’s been about three-and-a-half years of growth, so it’s pretty long right now and I feel very fortunate to be able to do an event like this and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Daniel Augustus, who is among this year’s field, is the only Bermudian to date to win the championship.
PGA Tour Latin America player Becker, of Brazil, won last year’s tournament by one shot but is not returning to defend his title this year.
Last year’s runner-up Barry Lane, former Ryder Cup player, and Zack Byrd, who finished tied with Sims are also not competing this year.
This year’s 36-hole competition will see a number of professional overseas golfers compete for the title and a share of the $75,000 purse.
They include Chip Beck, a four-times PGA Tour winner, three-times American Ryder Cup member and one of only six players who have shot 59 on the PGA Tour.
Also playing are Charlie Rymer, a Golf channel analyst and Web.com winner, Trish Johnson, a 19-times winner on the Ladies European Tour and three-times LPGA Tour winner and Solheim Cup member, as well as Tom Gillis, a Web.com winner and former PGA Tour member. Oliver Tubb, the PGA of Canada’s No-3 ranked player is also competing.
In addition to the professionals in the championship, the field is rounded out by a list of amateurs from Bermuda, the United States, Canada and Europe, all vying for titles.
Professional and amateurs will also compete in two closest-to-the-hole contests on the 9th and 18th holes during today’s first round, with the four winners (two professionals and two amateurs) qualifying for the $1-million hole-in-one shoot-out to be held in the evening on No 18. The shoot-out is sponsored by the Fairmont Southampton and will be livestreamed through the PGA of Canada’s Facebook page.