Camiko Smith captures inaugural Moongate Tour Championship title
Camiko Smith became the first player to lift the Moongate Tour Championship trophy at Port Royal Golf Course on Saturday.
The professional two-putted for par on the final hole to sign off with a one-over 72 for a combined three-under 139 to finish a whopping seven shots clear of the chasing pack.
Amateurs Jarryd Dillas and Will Haddrell finished joint second at four over 146 to round off the podium in the 36 hole event.
Overnight leader Smith held a two shot advantage heading into the final round which he extended over the final 18 holes to virtually run away with the title.
“It feels pretty good; my first win with a really competitive field,” an elated Smith told The Royal Gazette. “I am happy and pleased. It feels extremely well to have won against Bermuda’s top players, pros and amateurs.”
Smith got his round off to the worst possible start with a triple bogey on the 1st hole after his tee shot went out of bounds to the right of the fairway.
This allowed nearest rival Haddrell to grab a share of the lead despite dropping a shot on the same hole.
However, Smith regained the outright lead for good with a birdie on the next hole, which Haddrell double bogeyed to fall further off the pace.
Smith lost momentum again after making bogey at the par-three 3rd hole but rebounded spectacularly by getting up and down for eagle at the par-five 7th to provide himself more breathing room.
He took advantage of the favourable wind direction, drawing his wedge approach to within three-feet of the cup and nailing the putt.
A bogey on the next hole was then offset by another birdie at No 9 despite his tee shot missing the fairway to the right.
He dropped another shot at No 12 but got back to one over for the round, three under for the tournament, after getting up and down for birdie on the penultimate hole with victory all but sealed.
“The strategy was the same as yesterday (Friday); keep solid and stay in the present,” Smith added. “Don’t make any silly mistakes and unfortunately I made a couple, starting with a triple on the first hole.
“I didn’t get off to a good start but just kind of held it together throughout the front nine and eagled seven, which put me in a good position.
“Thirteen is where I pretty much buckled down and hit some really good shots coming down the stretch.
“I kept telling myself to stay in the present one shot at a time. Commit 200 per cent to every single shot and just do what you have to do to get through, and I did that.”
Dillas carded the second lowest round of two-over 73 to make late surge on the leaderboard.
“All in all it was a good two days and I was really happy with how I played,” he said.
Dillas was alone in second at one over approaching the final hole which he tripled bogeyed after missing the fairway and taking an unplayable to finish tied with Haddrell.
“Not the best finish, got a history with the 18th hole,” he added. ”It’s beaten me up so I am hoping it has some good things in store for me in the future.“
Haddrell also endured his share of struggles but was happy to finish joint runner up.
“The wind was tricky and my yardage was off, so I went long on a lot of greens,” he said. “Didn’t make the putts but hit it better and I am happy with second place. “Camiko played really well, congrats to him.”
Tour co-founder Chaka DeSilva, who shot the third lowest round of three-over 74, finished fourth at five-over 147.
Fellow professional Nick Jones rounded off the top five another shot back.
Moongate Tour Championship final scores
Camiko Smith 67-72―139
Jarryd Dillas (a) 73-73―146
Will Haddrell (a) 69-77―146
Chaka DeSilva 74-74―47
Nick Jones 72-76―148
Scott Roy 76-78―154
Dwayne Pearman 75-80―155
Damian Palanyandi (a) 77-80―157
Delyone Borden 76-83―59
Jevon Roberts (a) 81-79―160
Aaron James (a) 80-81―161
Andrew Trott-Francis 80-82―162
Cory DeSilva 81-83―164
Roger Brangman (a) 83-87―170
Matthew Smith (a) 83-90―173