Michael Sim’s battle to get back to the top of the game took another step forward in California with an encouraging week at the Web.com Tour’s Ellie Mae Classic.

Sim earned a start at the event, where he is a former winner, on the back of a top 10 result last week and after a second round 63 was T16 and in the mix heading to the weekend.

While he faded over the final two rounds, the 7-under Friday score will have given him a vital confidence boost after several years of injury induced struggles.

It was Sim’s fourth start on the Web.com Tour this year and while he will be disappointed with his weekend play and eventual T40 finish his scoring suggests his game is heading in the right direction.

Sim was one of seven Australians to tee up in the event, Mark Hensby and Oliver Goss the only others to make the 36-hole cut.

Hensby opened strong with a first round 66 but couldn’t maintain the momentum and scores of 70-73-71 saw him slip to T70 at the end of the week.

Oliver Goss, making a rare appearance on the secondary Tour in 2017, matched Hensby’s opening round but also faded over the closing rounds with 71-70-76 to be T76.

Nick Flanagan, Steve Allan, Rhein Gibson and Mathew Goggin all missed the cut.