August 23, 2001
RAND JERRIS: We're pleased to be joined with Michael Sims. Michael, thank you very much for joining us after what was obviously a very long day. Two exciting matches: a 1-up victory in the morning and a victory on the 22nd hole this afternoon. What goes through your head on the 20th and 21st and 22nd tee?
MICHAEL SIMS: Just hit good tee shots and try and get myself an opportunity to make birdie. The pins were, I think, fairly accessible. So hitting a wedge into them, anything is really accessible. But, yeah, just hit good tee shots and then try and make a putt.
RAND JERRIS: Because we were off the air when you finished up, maybe you can run through what happened on the 21st and 22nd holes for us.
MICHAEL SIMS: Which hole was that? The 21st hole, I hit a fade down the left-hand side. I had 100 yards to the flag. It was right on the button. A little head wind, a little uphill. But I thought if I hit a good wedge in there past the hole, it would spin back. Which it did. I had about six feet. He knocked one in there about 10 feet, 11 feet. And he made that and then I went in on top of him. Off the tee he hit a -- he hit it left on the 22nd hole. And I hit a really good drive down the middle. That's probably the best drive I've hit all week into the hole. And I had 106 yards to the flag. 106 yards to the flag. And I actually hold out 104-yard wedge shot early on in the week. So I knew that was the exact distance. A little down wind but a little uphill also. It cancelled each other out. And it was right on the money, just a little right and the putt was probably about seven feet and it swung pretty good right-to-left. I pulled it straight off the bat, but he had it just inside of me, probably about six feet and missed his coming up.
Q. Did you lack the confidence at all when you needed to make birdie to stay in it on the 21st?
MICHAEL SIMS: I don't think so. I knew I was going to make mine. It was just a question of whether or not he was going to make his.
Q. You've had a pretty good summer. Measure your expectations when you arrive at a U.S. Amateur after the good fortune you've had.
MICHAEL SIMS: Expectations? Well, I try not to limit myself. So I guess I really -- I don't have a set of expectations of what I'm going to do because you never know. You saw how quickly things turned this morning when I was 1-down with three to go and I win the last three holes to win 1-up. So I just try not to limit myself.
Q. What do you know of your opponent tomorrow, Bubba Dickerson?
MICHAEL SIMS: I know he's got red hair and played for Florida.
Q. Have you ever faced him?
MICHAEL SIMS: No. Should be an exciting match. I'm looking forward to it.
Q. Michael, tell me about playing golf in Bermuda, getting from Bermuda with credentials to a golf powerhouse like the University of Rhode Island.
MICHAEL SIMS: I guess they got -- I'm just kidding. I actually went to boarding school down in Boca Raton, Florida, and one of the kids that played golf for my golf team there in high school went to URI. He was actually from the Canary Islands. He had quite the island connection up there. He came down, I talked with him, we just happened to meet and the next thing I know I was recruited and that was the only place I was recruited to. So there you go. That's where I went.
Q. Are you now the person from Bermuda who has advanced the farthest in a U.S. Amateur championship?
RAND JERRIS: That's correct.
MICHAEL SIMS: I think Scott Main, almost made it to The Masters there at the U.S., was it the Public Links or the Mid-am? Mid-am, I think. He got to the finals one year. It's pretty exciting.
RAND JERRIS: Michael, do you associate yourself much with Bermuda still? Is it still home.
MICHAEL SIMS: I'm a born and bred Bermudan.
RAND JERRIS: So --
MICHAEL SIMS: But I have American status because my mom's American.
RAND JERRIS: What would it mean to the folks back home for a Bermudan to come and win the U.S. Amateur Championship?
MICHAEL SIMS: I think it would just be unbelievable. I've already had so much support throughout the whole summer from everybody back home that I know. I know that they're in there supporting me. In fact, a guy today, he flew up -- I guess on what is today? I think he flew up on Wednesday but he was reading the paper Tuesday and saw my name in it and figured, well, he's in Atlanta, he can find the golf course and he actually was out there for all 36 -- well, however many holes it was today. He was out there for pretty much the whole thing. So that's pretty special to have people reading a newspaper back home. He's going to be in Atlanta. I don't know him, he doesn't know me. So, I mean, that's very special to have people just come and watch me.
Q. Michael, forgive me for not knowing this, but back home do you carry celebrity status now for your achievement in golf? And did you get, as a second part of that, a congratulatory note from a dignitary of some sort this week so far?
MICHAEL SIMS: Not so far this week but, I mean, everybody, a lot of people are calling me from home. They know how I'm doing. But I don't know about celebrity status. I know, you know, I'm no Tiger woods or anything like that, but. People I think know who I am.
Q. Does good golf run in your family?
MICHAEL SIMS: I'm my dad was actually a good tennis player. And that's what I originally wanted to be. But it's a good thing I changed, tennis is a little tougher to make it in at this age.
Q. And why did you change?
MICHAEL SIMS: Actually, Faxon came it was a weird summer. I went away for the North/South Junior Championship, and then they sent me to golf school. Brad Faxon came down later right at the end of the summer and did a clinic for us. And after that I thought that was the coolest thing: a PGA Tour player coming and giving us a clinic. That was pretty neat. And then after that, I don't remember picking up a tennis racket. It was all golf from there on out.
Q. About how old were you?
MICHAEL SIMS: I think I was around 13. 12, 13.
Q. This is at your boarding school in Boca Raton?
MICHAEL SIMS: No. This was in Bermuda, yeah. I didn't go to boarding school until I was 16.
Q. Now, I know you don't want to look ahead of tomorrow's match, but you're on a crash course for Quinney. Do you give that any thought? Do you have the confidence now that you can beat anybody and do you have to have that confidence to do it?
MICHAEL SIMS: Take it one step at a time. I really couldn't -- I'm not going to forecast what's going to happen here, because you never know.
Q. The only thing you do know is that you must make birdies, right?
MICHAEL SIMS: That's right. Birdies, eagles, maybe a few pars.
RAND JERRIS: Michael, thanks very much for your time and certainly wish you luck tomorrow.
MICHAEL SIMS: Thank you very much, guys.
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