Scintilating round puts Smith in the hunt
Camiko Smith was on the move during the second round of the Gosling’s Invitational at Port Royal Golf Course yesterday.
The Bermudian carded the best round of seven-under-par 64 to move within three shots of the leader, Daniel Gaunt, at the halfway stage of the tournament at four-under 138.
Also making up ground were former winners Bill Walsh and Brian McCann, who were among a trio of Canadians carding the day’s second best round of five-under 66.
Walsh is one shot behind Smith, tied for third with compatriot David Levesque, who also carded a 66.
Australian Gaunt, who is making his tournament debut, shot 69 to maintain his lead at seven under heading into the remaining 36 holes to be played at Belmont Hills Golf Club.
David Wettlaufer, the defending champion, came in at even par and is seven shots off the lead heading into today’s third round.
Smith was the toast of the clubhouse, and rightfully so, after producing a phenomenal round, which included six birdies and an eagle to place himself in the hunt for honours.
“I just made a lot of putts and hit the ball very well,” said Smith, who started the round eight shots off the lead.
“The game plan was basically to be more aggressive so I could have more wedges into the greens.
“I knew yesterday [Tuesday] I was rolling the putts well, so I just had to keep it going and today [yesterday] it just clicked.”
Smith’s round caught fire after his iron approach to the par five 7th from 170 yards left him with a tap-in for eagle.
“I actually almost holed it for an albatross,” he said. “That really jump-started it all and I just kept it going.”
Smith knows Port Royal like the back of his hand, having grown up right next to the Southampton golf course.
“This is my backyard, basically, as I was born and raised next to the green at No 4,” he said.
“When I was little I used to jump on and practise there. I got kicked off a couple of times, but I’d come back and keep going, and now this is where I am 20 years later.”
Gaunt had the third best round of the day at 69, which contained three birdies and a bogey, to move to seven under.
“It was a bit of a struggle,” he said. “But I did all the right things to keep it in play and made a couple of putts and shot under par, which is always nice when you’re not playing great. I’ve still got a bit of a lead, but there’s still a long way to go.”
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