HAYWARD, Calif.(AP) Australia’s Michael Sim won the Stonebrae Classic on Sunday for his second career Nationwide Tour title, closing with a 7-under 64 for a six-stroke victory over countryman Cameron Percy and John Kimbell.
The 24-year-old Sim, also the 2006 PalmettoPride Classic winner, had an 18-under 266 total on the TPC San Francisco Bay at Stonebrae. He earned $108,000 in the inaugural event to jump from seventh to first on the money list with $182,017.
“I had a really good feeling that I was going to win today,” Sim said after his third top-four finish in five events this year. “I felt all week like this was my tournament to win. My swing feels better than it’s ever been. I didn’t have a score in mind today. It was just flowing. I was really in control of my game.”
Sim played the front nine in 5-under 31, birdieing the final four holes and five of the last six to take a four-stroke lead. He birdied the par-4 14th, made a 3-foot eagle putt on the par-5 15th, dropped a stroke on 16 and closed with two pars. He opened with rounds of 71, 64 and 67 to take a one-stroke lead over Matt Every into the final 18.
Percy and Kimbell shot 68s. Every (71) and Martin Piller (70) tied for fourth at 10 under, and Andrew Buckle (66), Jeff Gallagher (69), Craig Barlow (69) and Nick Flanagan (69) followed at 8 under.
Sim, the top-ranked amateur in the world in 2005, led the field in fairways hit and tied for second in greens in regulation.
“My ball-striking this year has been fabulous,” Sim said. “This is the best that’s ever been in my career. It’s higher now than when I was No. 1 as an am It’s so much more consistent than it’s ever been. I have a lot more trust in my swing.”
The top 25 on the final money list will earn 2010 PGA Tour cards.
“I’m off to a good start this year, for sure,” Sim said. “I set my goals high this year. I set a goal to lead the money list. I’m not looking at where the 25th-place guy finished last year.”