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Smith’s Q-school hopes left in tatters

Running on empty: a lack of funds have stalled Smith’s tour hopes (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Camiko Smith was left to ponder what might have been after being forced to scuttle plans of competing at this month’s Web.com Tour qualifier.

The Bermuda golfer had planned to participate in the three-stage Web.com Tour qualifier in New Brunswick, Atlanta, but was unable to because of a lack of funding.

“Q-school didn’t happen because it’s just too expensive, to be honest, and I don’t have the backing to keep doing it,” Smith said. “It’s a setback and obviously I’m still looking for sponsorship and what not.”

Smith’s ultimate goal is to play on the PGA Tour, the pinnacle of the sport, and he is determined to make his dream a reality.

“The dream is still alive and I know I can make it happen,” he said. “I just have to be out there in the mix competing in that environment for a longer period than what I am doing at the moment.

“When you look at our top athletes right now, like Flora Duffy and Tyler Butterfield, these guys have been out there for a period of time competing and they are now starting to peak, which is a process of how it happened. They have been out there for however long and now they are peaking.

“Flora is winning races left, right and centre, and Tyler is also winning races and so they are making a breakthrough. But they have to be out there for long periods in order to do that, which is impossible without the funding.

“That’s just how it works and I also have to be out there competing for at least six to 12 months at a time, especially leading up to qualifying tournaments.

“It’s been a setback, but I just have to keep grinding at it and not let anything hold me back. I will keep pressing forward, which is what I am doing, trying to get a bit of cash here and there, and just keep going forward.”

With the disappointment of not being able to compete in Web.com Tour qualifiers behind him, Smith has shifted his focus to playing at overseas mini-tour events in preparation for an upcoming Latin American Tour qualifier.

Smith is also leaning towards competing at the Gosling’s Invitational in November, which will be played for the first time at both Belmont Hills Golf Club and Port Royal Golf Course.

“I’m looking at playing in the Gosling’s Invitational and the way things are working out more than likely I should be playing in it,” he said.