Michael Sims of Bermuda cracked perhaps golf's most dramatic barrier Thursday, shooting a 12-under par 59 in the second round of the Southern Open at the Country Club of Salisbury.
Sims, who played four years on the Web.com (formerly Nationwide) tour, became the first player to break 60 in competition on the Charlotte-based eGolf Professional Tour.
He birdied his first eight holes Thursday on his way to an 8-under par 27 on the front side of the Donald Ross-designed course. Sims made four putts of 10 feet or longer among his eight opening birdies.
"What's cool is that the 27 on the front nine is my lowest (score) by two," Sims said. "I shot 29 on this tour a few years ago."
A birdie at the 10th pushed Sims to 9-under par. After four consecutive pars, Sims birdied the par-5 15th, holed a 22-foot birdie putt at the 16th and had a tap-in birdie at the 17th. He parred the finishing hole to post 59.
Sims said he had forgotten the par was 71 and thought he had shot 60 when he missed a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 18
"I hit that birdie putt and left it a few inches short and thought, 'You have to be kidding me,'" Sims said. "When the other guys in the group congratulated me, I remembered that it was par-71. Pretty surreal feeling."
Sims, who shot 71 in the first round, will enter the final round of the Southern Open Friday trailing 36-hole leader Drew Weaver by one stroke.
-- Ron Green Jr.