Smith remains upbeat despite missing cut
Camiko Smith missed out on advancing to the next round of qualifying for the US Open by three strokes at Pinehills Golf Club in Plymouth, Massachusetts, after shooting a three-over par 75 yesterday.
A double-bogey on the par-four final hole spoilt Smith’s round as he failed to secure a place in the sectional qualifiers, the final stage of qualifying for the US Open which will be held at Erin Hill in Wisconsin from June 12 to 18. Late results showed that Smith had dropped to fourteenth overall, with only the top five advancing to the next qualifiers.
“I drove it well, putted well and hit my irons well, but on that final hole I had an unlucky bounce [from the tee shot] and finished with a double,” Smith said.
“It’s golf and those things do happen. It’s unfortunate but I have to take it and move on. I hit a bad tee shot which put me behind a tree and didn’t get up and down from there.”
There were 84 players competing, with five advancing to the sectionals along with two alternates.
“I went off early, it was really cold — in the 50s — windy and a light drizzle so it wasn’t entirely easy conditions to play in,” Smith said.
“When I left there were still people on the golf course but I was in seventh place when I left and the low score then was even-par 72.”
There were some 9,000 players competing at 113 local qualifying events across the United States for 525 spots for the sectional qualifying.
Despite the disappointment of failing to advance Smith was upbeat afterwards, considering his lack of competitive golf.
“I’m not entirely disappointed, this is my first tournament since the Grey Goose Par 3 in March,” he said. “I’ve just been working, practicing and doing what I can in between.”
Smith stressed the need to be playing constantly in order to improve his game. He plans to make another qualifying attempt next year. He reached the second stage of qualifying in 2014 and 2015.
“This is only my second tournament of the year so to do as well as I did is pretty gratifying,” he said. “It’s a good start for the year and I’m trying to build on that.
“I’m looking for some more events over the summer to play in and try to build on what I did today.
“You don’t leave anything in the tank, you give your all and have to be happy with it.
“There are so many other events to play in, like Web.com tour, Latin American tour, so I’m hoping I can get funding this year or next year. Working and being a [professional] athlete doesn’t go hand in hand.
“You have to be able to play in more events consistently. I’ll be home for a short bit to make some money and head back out. Every year there is qualifying for the Web.com tour, which I’m hoping to do again this year.”
Smith refers to professionals like Flora Duffy and Tyler Butterfield who have benefited from full-time training and competition.
“Like Delray Rawlins, the only way he is going to get better is if he stays where he is and keeps playing against the players he’s playing against,” he said.
“I’m familiar with Nahki Wells, Flora Duffy and Tyler Butterfield. You have to be out there doing it, coming back and forth to Bermuda makes it tough.”
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