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Sim cruises to easy victory



Hayward, CA (Sports Network) - Overnight leader Michael Sim fired a seven- under 64 on Sunday to cruise to an easy six-shot victory at the inaugural Stonebrae Classic.

Sim finished at 18-under 266 at the TPC San Francisco Bay at Stonebrae and won for the second time on the Nationwide Tour. His previous victory came at the 2006 PalmettoPride Classic.

"I played great golf all week and hit the ball great," said Sim, who pocketed $108,000 for the win. "I set some high goals this year and this was one of them. I'm happy to get off to a good start for the year."

Cameron Percy and John Kimbell both posted rounds of three-under 68 on Sunday and tied for second at minus-12. Martin Piller (70) and Matt Every (71) shared fourth at 10-under 274.

Some players made moves to the top of the leaderboard early in the final round, but Sim held tough.

Sim birdied his first hole, but gave that stroke back with a bogey at No. 2. He knocked his tee ball close at the par-three fourth and converted the birdie putt to himself alone in front.

Contenders stayed with Sim, but the Australian was about to pull away. He drained a 10-foot birdie putt at six, two-putted from 15 feet for a birdie at the par-five seventh and birdied eight for three in a row and a two-shot cushion.

Thanks to a bogey from Kimbell at the ninth, Sim's lead moved to three. Sim rolled in a 20-footer for a birdie of his own at the hole and suddenly the margin was a comfortable four shots.

Sim parred his next four, but it hardly mattered. No one else on the leaderboard threatened his lead, but Sim extended the gap to five shots when he sank a seven-foot birdie putt at 14.

The Aussie wasn't done yet. He hit a spectacular second shot to four feet at the par-five 15th and converted the eagle putt. Sim owned a seven-stroke lead with three to play.

Sim gave one back when he three-putted the 16th for a bogey. He hit a bad drive at 17, but was able to save par. Sim parred the last to get the win and move to first on the Nationwide Tour money list.

"It was one of my goals for the year, was trying to finish No. 1," said Sim. "I'm off to a great start. Maybe I can pick up another win shortly. You never know what can happen."

Andrew Buckle (66), Jeff Gallagher (69), Craig Barlow (69) and Nick Flanagan (69) tied for sixth at minus-eight. Ryan Armour shot a one-over 72 and finished 10th at seven-under 277.

04/05 21:50:28 ET


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