Monday, November 30, 2009

Michael Sim goes 'home' for the

Australian PGA Championship

They’re three of the hottest young golfers on the planet, they’re Aussies and they’re coming home for summer! (Aberdeen-born) Michael Sim, pictured right, Marc Leishman and James Nitties will line up at the Australian PGA Championship presented by Coca-Cola and all have one intention – to win the PGA Tour of Australasia’s season-ending event.
In a massive bonus for Aussie golf fans the young guns announced will compete at the PGA of Australia’s flagship event, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Coolum on Queensland's Sunshine Coast from December 10-13.
Michael Sim has been a revelation on the world golf scene in 2009 and it’s not hard to see why. The West Australian (who emigrated from Scotland to Perth with his parents when he was seven years old) broke just about every Nationwide Tour record on his way to gaining a ‘Battlefield Promotion’ to the US PGA Tour.
In August, in just his 12th event Sim claimed his third Nationwide Tour victory for 2009 at the Christmas in October Classic and became the first player on the Nationwide Tour to top the half million dollar mark. He held the number one place on the Money List for a record-breaking six months and made history by being the first Nationwide Tour player to crack the world top 100 on May 18. To top it off Sim made his Major debut at both the US Open and USPGA Championships with the highlight partnering Tiger Woods for the final round at Bethpage where he finished in 18th place.
Now ranked 66th (a year ago he was 312), Sim, a former world No l amateur, whose best result in three appearances at Coolum was a tie for third place in 2007, said he was looking forward to capping off his incredible year with a strong performance in front of a home crowd.
“I really enjoy going to Coolum. It’s a fun event and will be a great way to finish off the 2009 season,” said Sim. “I’ve had a few wins overseas this year and it would be great to close out the season with a victory on home soil so I’ll be gearing up to give it a shot and finish the year on a high note.”
Similarly, Marc Leishman has wowed the US crowds as his star rises, but typical of the boy from Warrnambool in regional Victoria, it’s all been done in his own quiet way. Winner of six tournaments in Australia, the unassuming 25-year-old won his USPGA Tour card via finishing in the Top 25 on the Nationwide Tour in 2008.
Like Sim, Leishman has been paired with Woods along the way and finished second to the world No 1 at the BMW Championship. Amassing over $2 million from all events this year Leishman, 47th on the US Tour Money List, has headed back home to Australia with the aim of winning the Kirkwood Cup to cap off a magic 2009.
“This year has been an amazing year for me and I can’t wait to get home to play in front of a home crowd and some familiar faces. The Australian PGA Championship is in one of my favourite places in the world so what a great place to finish off the year - hopefully with a win.”
“The final event it could see everything come down to the wire and make for a really exciting conclusion to the Australasian Tour season and the Order of Merit.”
Completing the trio is 27 year old New South Welshman James Nitties. Of the three Nitties came closest to claiming the Australian PGA title when he finished runner up to Peter Lonard in 2004 in just his fourth professional appearance. He followed that with a tie for eighth place in 2006. After his form was affected by a debilitating case of reactive arthritis first diagnosed in 2005 Nitties bounced back earning his 2009 US PGA Tour card after finishing second at Qualifying School. His consistency in 2009 saw him claim two top 10 finishes and seven top 25s.
With a year in the US under his belt, the popular Novacastrian (a native of New South Wales) will head home for the summer for his fifth appearance at Coolum.
“The Australian PGA Championship holds very fond memories for me as it was like my ‘breakthrough event’ on the Australasian Tour,” said Nitties. “I finished second in 2004 which was my first season so I came close to claiming a win there. I missed last year for the first time since I turned pro because of a clash with US Tour School so it will be great to return home knowing that I have my US Tour card for next year and that I can concentrate on putting all my energies in to making another grab at the title.”



Post a Comment

<< Home

Copyright © Colin Farquharson

If you can't find what you are looking for.... please check the Archive List or search this site with Google