Much like countryman Marc Leishman, Titleist Brand Ambassador Michael Sim also spent a portion of his practice days for the Farmers Insurance Open visiting the various Titleist facilities near Torrey Pines Golf Course to help him prepare for his 2010 PGA Tour season. Michael hopes to continue the strong form that saw him capture the 2009 money title/Order of Merit on both the Nationwide Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia, Player of the Year honors on the Nationwide Tour, a "battlefield promotion" to the PGA Tour courtesy of three wins on the Nationwide Tour, and a spot in the top 50 of the Official World Golf Rankings.
Michael worked with Titleist fitters at the Acushnet Test Facility on Wednesday to help with a wedge gap fitting as well as a 2-iron replacement. He told his fitter that there was too much of a yardage gap between his AP2 9-iron (+1/4" and 43° loft) and Spin Milled C-C 248.06 (standard length and bent to 47° loft). After testing several pitching wedge variations on the launch monitor, Michael was fit into a Spin Milled C-C 248.10 at +1/4" and standard loft. His yardage gap between the two clubs was reduced from 18 yards to 12.
Making his return to the States from playing back home in Australia, Michael was also looking for a club to replace the 695CB 2-iron he had been gaming. Michael told his fitter that the 2-iron was a good club in Australia, but not as good on the PGA Tour due to the low trajectory and shallow landing angle. He prefers the look of irons rather than hybrids at address, though, so the team built him an older Tour Prototype 503i with a Project X 6.5 shaft that matches his irons. After a few shots on the launch monitor with the new utility iron, it went straight in the bag for this week's event.
Michael's final stop before heading back to Torrey Pines for the tournament was at the Scotty Cameron Putter Studio. Here's what he had to say about the visit after his round Friday:
"I've been rolling the putter tremendously the last two days. I went to the Scotty Cameron studio on Wednesday afternoon and had a look at my putting stroke with Paul Vizanko, and it wasn't as good as what it was last year when I went in there, and managed to correct that in probably 20 minutes. Yeah, just rolled the ball pure the last two days, and even with the greens a little bit bumpy with the Poa and the amount of rain they've had, it didn't really affect my ball. I've probably got to thank him a lot for that."
Despite a rough start on Thursday (4-over through three holes), the preparation seems to have Michael on form once again. He finished Thursday's round on the difficult South Course strong to get back to 1-over 73, and after a sizzling 10-under 62 on the North Course on Friday, he finds himself only two shots back heading into the weekend.
What's in Michael Sim's bag this week at the Farmers Insurance Open:
Ball: Pro V1x
Driver: 905R (8.5°, Mitsubishi Diamana White 83X)
Fairway: 909F2 (13.5°, Mitsubishi Diamana Blue 93X)
Utility: Tour Prototype 503i (19°, True Temper Project X 6.5)
Irons: AP2 (3-9, True Temper Project X 6.5)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled C-C 248.10, Spin Milled C-C Prototype 54.12, Spin Milled C-C 60-T (all wedges with True Temper Project X 6.5)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Tour Newport Squareback
Titleist Brand Ambassador Michael Sim preparing
for his first start of the 2010 PGA Tour season.