Sim's birdie blitz lands title

Published 12:00pm 20 July 2023

Sim's birdie blitz lands title
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Michael Sim, second right, with Director of Golf Chris Adnams, second left, plus Alan Newcombe, right and Alan Johnson, left, of Optilease.

Redcliffe raised the bar and the 2023 Optilease Pro-Am delivered – on and off the Clontarf golf course.

“We wanted this year’s pro-am to be better than last year,” Director of Golf Chris Adnams said, “and it was.”

Michael Sim added the $70,000 Optilease Redcliffe Pro-Am to his resume, which also has the Queensland and West Australia Open crowns.

The 38-year-old Gold Coast resident had three birdies in the final five holes to win the most lucrative event in Australia’s adidas PGA Pro-Am series.

It included a driver and wedge to 15 feet on the final before sinking a crucial putt to win.

Picture gallery - click through

Sim had rounds of 64 and 65 for a 13-under par total of 129 to hold off NSW’s Nathan Barbieri (65, 65) and fellow Golf Coast resident Deyen Lawson (70, 61).

Lawson’s sensational second round, which included a back nine seven-under par, equalled Redcliffe's course record held by Taylor Macdonald.

Last year’s champion Brisbane’s Aaron Wilkin, who led after a first round 63, tied fourth with Brisbane's Aaron Pike, Charlie Dann from Caloundra and Jack Munro, of the Gold Coast.

Redcliffe's Doug Klein, the 2021 pro-am winner, was two shots further back on eight under par.

Todd Sinnott won the $1000 Chip off after the final round and Aaron Pike took the $3000 Shootout for the top four players plus ties, held as no play-off was needed for the top prize.

Chris Adnams said the professionals praised the condition of the Handsworth Street course and especially the greens.

“The course was fantastic,” he said, “full credit to the team here. Our aim now … is to replicate this year's pro-am, next year!”

The event’s major sponsors Optilease also gave two playing places for Redcliffe juniors to experience major competition.

A signed Dolphins jersey was donated and auctioned helping to raise $4500 for Redcliffe’s sub junior program.

After completing their rounds, four PGA players also ran a one-hour short-game clinic for junior players, aged from six to 14.

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