Bermuda golfers miss cut but Camiko Smith pockets back-nine record
Camiko Smith shared some of the spotlight after equalling a tournament record during the second round of the Butterfield Bermuda Championship at Port Royal Golf Course yesterday.
The local professional shot a bogey-free six-under 29 on the back nine at the par-71 Southampton layout to become only the third player to achieve the feat in tournament history.
“I actually didn’t know I had the record but I’m excited to have that,” he told The Royal Gazette. “That’s cool and it was nice to do in front of everybody.”
Americans Scottie Scheffler (2019) and Doc Redman (2020) are the others to have shot 29 on the back nine at Port Royal.
Smith was forced to play catch-up after an opening round nine-over 80 left him a huge mountain to climb in order to make the cut.
Undaunted, he rolled up his fist and got off to a blistering start after making birdie at Nos 10, 11 and 14.
Smith then shifted into overdrive with an eagle at No 17 and another birdie at 18 to claim a share of the tournament record for the lowest score on the back nine.
“Basically I just wanted to get off to a good start, and I did just that,” he added.
Just three shots shy of the cut at even par, Smith still had everything to play for at the start of his stroll coming in.
However, the steady form he demonstrated earlier eluded when him when it mattered most.
Smith made double bogey on the first hole on the front nine and a triple bogey on the next, which all but dashed his hopes of playing through the weekend.
He managed to steady the ship the rest of the way but the damage had already been done.
“I don’t know what happened on the 1st hole,” said Smith, who carded a one-under 70 for a two-day total eight-over 150. “My ball disappeared and I made double.
“Unfortunately I had the same situation on the next hole so two rough holes and that was it.
“It was a good grind and lot of fun. But at the end of the day I didn’t make the cut so that kind of puts a damper on it.”
Overall, it was a tough day for Bermuda’s golfers as Smith’s fellow professionals Michael Sims, Chaka DeSilva and Brian Morris and amateur Damian Palanyandi also missed the cut.
Former Web.com Tour player Sims shot a six-over 77 to also bow out at eight-over 150.
He came the closest to making the cut among the local players at two over but ultimately came up short.
“Today was kind of like a little kick in the face,” said Sims, who was paired in the same threesome as cousin Morris who is battling brain cancer.
“It is what it is and it was more about walking around with Brian and enjoying that moment. For him to be able to get up and do this, I don’t have a complaint in the world.”
Palanyandi shot a five-over 76, the second-lowest round of the day among the local contingent, to sign off at 10-over 152.
“I was really shaky on my first nine and then pulled it together on the back,” he said.
“The conditions were a lot easier but I just didn’t strike the ball as well.”
DeSilva carded 80 to sign off at 14-over 156.
“I hit the ball as good as I could’ve expected today but I missed a lot of putts,” he said. “Missed some putts I should not have and that’s basically the difference.”
Morris, who realised a dream of playing in a PGA Tour event after receiving a sponsor’s exemption, carded a 21-over 92 for a two-day total of 39-over 181.
“It’s been such an amazing journey and I’ll probably never experience this again,” he said.
“When I check out, I will always have one PGA Tour start next to my name and that’s pretty cool. You can’t take that from me, regardless how I did.”