Planet Golf — 01 March 2021 by Bob Sherwin
Trevor Simsby: A brief, shining moment

Just about every elite professional golfer in the world came together this past week to compete for the exclusive Workday World Golf Championship event in Florida.

That exclusive 72-player field also included Trevor Simsby, a 28-year-old former University of Washington golfer, ranked 416th in the world and playing in his first ever PGA Tour event. How Simsby got into this talented and limited event is a testament to his resilience, his resourcefulness and exceptional fortuitous timing.

Simsby, who grew up in Southern California, played three years for the Huskies, turning pro in 2014. He has spent the next six years, as he says on his twitter account, “enjoying my journey to reach the PGA Tour.’’ It has been a circuitous and unrewarding journey, struggling on the Korn Ferry Tour but making just three cuts in 17 events over three years while making $5,186 in prize money. His highest finish was tied for 49th. 

In 2017, he played in Mexico at one PGA Tour Latinoamerica event, missing the cut.

He then ventured to the Far East in 2019 to join the Asian Development Tour. That qualified him for the regular 2020 Asian Tour.

Simsby played in just one Asian Tour event, the Bandar Malaysia Open, in early March last year. It was an event limited to just 54 holes because of bad weather. Simsby won the event – his first career victory – on the second playoff hole.

That was the last Asia Tour event, as the COVID19 pandemic cancelled the rest of the season. Yet that was not the end for Simsby. He would wind up in Florida almost exactly one year later.

Generally, WGC events invite the  World’s top 50 players, based on the World Golf Rankings. For the Workday event, the field was increased from 50 to 72 to include top qualifying players from various world tours, such as the European Tour and the Asian Tour order of merit.

Based on his lone victory, Simsby finished second in the Asian Tour’s order of merit. The top two qualified for Workday. He got in but players such as Si Woo Kim (ranked 52nd in the world), Bubba Watson (53rd), Russell Henley (54th), Matt Wallace (57th), Ian Poulter (61st), Jordan Spieth (62nd), and Rickie Fowler (65th) stayed home.

With everything to gain, Simsby made the most of his first PGA event, finishing tied for 37th. He fell to earth on the back nine Sunday with 39, but still filled his wallet with $59,000.

He also made a big splash and quality TV time Saturday with the shot of the tournament, a hole-in-one on the par-3, 166-yard sixth hole at The Concessions course. 

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Bob Sherwin

Bob grew up in Cleveland, an underdog city with perennial underdog teams, and that gave him an appreciation and an affinity for the grinders in golf, guys such as Rocco Mediate, Jhonattan Vegas and star-crossed John Daly. This is the 49th year for Bob as a sportswriter, the first 34 working for newspapers throughout the west, Tucson (Daily Star), San Francisco (Examiner) and Seattle (Times), and the past 15 years as a freelancer. He has covered just about every sport, including golf tournaments, Tucson Open, Bing Crosby/AT&T Pro-Am, the 1998 PGA Championship, the 2010 U.S. Senior Open, the 2010 U.S. Amateur the 2015 U.S. Open and the annual Champions Tour Boeing Classic. He also writes articles for golf magazines. For most of his 20 years at the Seattle Times his primary beat was the Mariners. He then picked up Washington men's basketball in the winter. He also was the beat writer for the Sonics, including 1996 when they played the Bulls for the NBA title. After a lifetime hacking on public courses, he finally gave in and joined a country club in 2011, the Members Club of Aldarra near Seattle. Despite (or perhaps because) of his 14 handicap, he won the 'Super Senior'' (65 and older) championship in 2017. He has a pair of aces – 37 years apart – and in 2009 came agonizingly close to his ultimate golf goal of scoring in the 70s when he finished with an even 80. He lives in Seattle, and spends part of his winters in Marco Island, Fla.

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