Michael Sim – shaping as major threat – file photo
27-year-old local, Bradley Kivimets, leads the Victorian PGA Championship at Moonah Links Resort, adding a second round of 64 to his opening 68 to lead by two over Gold Coast based West Australian, Michael Sim, with another two shots back to Queensland’s, Chris Wood, who is defending his title this week.
The event is the first of the PGA Tour of Australasia’s golfing summer and provides welcome relief for so many Australian golfers who have been starved of playing opportunities over the past twenty months.
Kivimets has played with only limited status on the Australasian Tour since turning professional five years ago but has supplemented his time playing, where he has been able to gain starts, with a role as teaching professional at the nearby Portsea Golf Club.
His best finish in a PGA Tour of Australasia event has been a hardly convincing 38th in the few events he has played at this level, so this week represents a great opportunity to elevate his standing.
Sim is one of the more credentialed players in this week’s field having won four times on the Korn Ferry Tour in the US and played the PGA Tour for a couple of years ten years ago where he did well enough to finish runner-up at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in 2010.
Sim’s career has been plagued by back issues but as the world’s number one amateur before turning professional and a great start to his professional career when turning to the paid ranks in 2006, he has been unable to fulfill much of that early potential.
In more recent times and after taking a bridging course with the PGA of Australia, however, Sim has begun to play well again with victories at similar events to those of this week’s level including the Queensland Open and Queensland PGA Championships.
Sim has also shown form in recent weeks in pro-am events in Queensland with a runner-up finish at last week’s Bartons Wynnum pro-am.
51 players made the cut which fell at 1 over par.
The final 36 holes of the event will be played over the Open layout at Moonah Links over the weekend.