Michael Sim close to full fitness

The leading Australian in last year's US Open, Michael Sim, appears happy with the progress he has made since returning to tournament golf from a shoulder injury a few weeks ago.

I caught up with Sim as he played the final few holes of his last practice round in preparation for this year's US Open at Pebble Beach and the disappointment of having to withdraw from this year's Masters as a result of that injury has been put well behind him.

On a stunning late afternoon there was evidence that he could again do well. An 8 iron approach to the 16th finished three feet from the hole, a long iron flew right over the top of the flag at the 17th and two excellent shots to the iconic par five 18th had him 20 feet from the hole.

"The shoulder is not a problem now. I have played four weeks in a row before taking last week off. It has been four years since I have been able to do that and I am looking forward to this week. I am working with a couple of guys over here on movement in the shoulder and trying to strengthen it up."

"I have shot 6 rounds in the 60's in a row in recent weeks. I didn't play too bad in the second round at Memorial but just got off to a slow start and missed the cut there. My coach David Milne form Perth flew in on Friday and we got some good work done in Arizona and the game's probably the best it's been since I finished runner up at Torrey Pines."

"I have played an AT&T event here previously but made the decision this year not to play as knowing that this event was to be played under very different conditions." The golf course is great but I have just finished my round at 6.30pm and the greens this afternoon were a little bumpy as they are Poa. Mind you it has probably been 13 hours since they cut them I played yesterday morning and they were great."

This is Sim's third major championship having made the cut in his first two. He finished 18th in this event at Bethpage last year and then finished 51st at the PGA Championship. He played with Tiger Woods in the final round and certainly did not disgrace himself.

So how does his form compare with the brilliant season he had in 2009?

"It's not far off but obviously last year I was in contention nearly every week so I was always carrying a lot of confidence but coming out here I have missed two or three cuts and have only one top ten but I am playing against stronger fields and have played a lot of world events and the Memorial."

The one top ten Sim referred to was his runner up finish at Torrey Pines and with earnings of US$615,000 for the season he is well on the way to comfortably retaining his status even if he has only played nine events in 2010.

"My form is not yet as good as last year and if I can get that mind frame back then there is no reason that I can't get that form back. I've got a lot of events back where I like the courses and am playing the British Open so hopefully I can put some good performances on the board."

Those good performances could easily start this week.


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Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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