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Camiko Smith up for Butterfield Bermuda Championship Local Qualifier

Camiko Smith is gunning for a third Butterfield Bermuda Championship appearance (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Camiko Smith says he is content with the progress he has made this year as he attempts to qualify for a third Butterfield Bermuda Championship.

The 37-year-old is competing for the three available spots up for grabs at the 36-hole Local Qualifier to begin at Port Royal Golf Course on Tuesday.

The event is one of the highlights of the year for Smith, who is excited that Bermudians have the opportunity to qualify and compete in a PGA Tour event.

“It is something I look forward to certainly,” he told The Royal Gazette. “It is one of the highlights of the golf year for me and having the qualifier and an opportunity to compete in a PGA Tour event in my home country is always exciting.

“I also love how it brings those with the love of golf together while offering a great event to give back to our community.”

As for his form going in, Smith added: “My game is always growing and developing.

“At this moment I am content with the growth over the past yearand looking forward to putting the work in on Tuesday and Wednesday to lay some good scores down.”

The professional concedes the pressure is on to live up to the public’s expectations but is optimistic he can be equal to the task.

“There is some degree of external pressures to perform well,” Smith said. “That said, I think the greater pressure lies within, so I work to stay in the moment and work hard to achieve what I expect of myself.”

Smith, who grew up living next to the fairway on the fourth hole at Port Royal equalled a record at last year’s Bermuda Championship.

The nephew of local running legend Kavin Smith blazed a bogey-free, six-under 29 on the back nine during the second round to become only the third player to achieve that feat after Americans Scottie Scheffler (2019) and Doc Redman (2020).

Winner of the inaugural Moongate Tour Championship, Smith has his work cut out over the next two days against Michael Sims, Nick Jones, Chaka DeSilva and amateurs Jarryd Dillas and Damian Palanyandi who are also expected to be in the hunt.

“There will be some great competition coming from individuals who have put in work, and I look forward to great participation in the event,” Smith added.

Smith’s preparations for the qualifier included a trip overseas to fine tune his game, which ruled him out of the Johnnie Walker Classic at Ocean View Golf Course last month.

“Plans ended up changing to where I was not going to be on island,” Smith said.

“My coach and I discussed it and with the timing in regards to the Championship, we thought it best for me to head out to Dallas and refine a few things with him.”

Asked what would it mean to qualify for the Bermuda Championship again, Smith said: “My feelings have been based on a mindset that the lead-up is just as important as the main event, that you work hard and stay focused.

“Once you make your way through it is certainly rewarding, but the job is not finished there. You have to plan your moves for the next couple of weeks and work it all over again.

“I remain with those thoughts this year as well. Let’s look towards October 2022 and aim for third time being a charm’.”

No local player yet made the cut in the PGA tour event, which will be held at Port Royal from October 27 to 30.

In addition to the three qualifying spots at this qualifier, those who place fourth, fifth and sixth will be granted exemption spots into the APGA Championship, which will also be held at Port Royal on October 11 and 12.

Those players will also be reserve alternatives for the Bermuda Championship field, while those who finish seventh, eighth and ninth will be reserve alternatives for the APGA Championship.

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Published October 04, 2022 at 5:46 am (Updated October 04, 2022 at 5:46 am)

Camiko Smith up for Butterfield Bermuda Championship Local Qualifier

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