ROOKIE SIERRA SIMS MAKES EIGHT BIRDIESSierra Sims (Tampa, Fla.), who is playing in just her second Symetra Tour event since graduating from Wake Forest, made eight birdies on Saturday to climb from T115 to a tie for 20th.
“It was definitely exciting since I didn’t have a great round on Friday,” said Sims. “I tried to play aggressive and I tried to be a little bit smarter with the wind. I was definitely conscious of the wind on every shot trying to select the right club.”
Sims was ten shots better in more difficult conditions on Saturday.
“I was hitting a lot more fairways and greens and it was a little tricky for me to hit out of the rough yesterday,” said Sims, who 12-of-14 fairways on Saturday. “I also was a lot more successful making putts, my reads were a little off yesterday.”
She drained a near 25-footer on 18 to put an exclamation point on the round.
Sims enjoyed a successful career at Wake Forest. She finished second at the 2016 ACC Championship. Now, she is beginning the adjustment to life as a pro.
“It has been fun, it is unique for me to start in the middle of the season (she missed the first seven events),” said Sims. “I feel like I don’t have as much pressure because I know I have missed events. I’m just having fun out here.”
KIM WELCH FIRES 67 WITH NEW PUTTERKim Welch (Sacramento, Calif.) knew something needed to change with her putter after the Pennsylvania Women’s Open. Right before the Fuccillo Kia Classic of NY last week, she found a new putter that she really likes and the tides are turning. She finished in a tie for second last week in Albany, NY and now heads into the final-round in third place.
“I’m starting to make putts and last week was my first week with the new putter,” explained Welch. “I’m loving the new look putter and am excited to give it a go tomorrow and be in contention again.”
The new flatstick is a Toulon putter from Odyssey.
“It looks like a spaceship, but it also kind of looks like the letter “K” so when I look down I think ‘K is for Kim’,” joked Welch. “I feel really good standing over it.”
The 34-year-old veteran is having her best season in several years. She only made one start in 2016 and finished 127th on the money list in 14 starts in 2015.
“It’s definitely one of my best years in quite a few years,” said Welch. “I was working hard at the start of the year and was playing well and then took a little dip the last month and a half. My mental game has been better the last couple weeks. I’m thinking better on the course.”