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Moongate Tour champion Camiko Smith to miss 2023 season opener

Camiko Smith will miss the 2023 Moongate Tour season opener at Port Royal Golf Course tomorrow through illness (File photograph by Akil Simmons)

Camiko Smith has been ruled out of the 2023 Moongate Tour season opener at Port Royal Golf Course on Friday through illness.

Smith became the first player to lift the Moongate Tour Championship trophy after finishing five shots clear of the field in the season-ending 36-hole championship at Port Royal in September but will not be a contender this weekend.

“Unfortunately, I am not playing as I have been laid up from a stomach bug all week and trying to recover,” Smith told The Royal Gazette.

Another leading player missing from the 29-strong field is highly decorated amateur Jarryd Dillas, but those expected to be thick of the hunt for honours are professionals Nick Jones, Tour co-founder Chaka DeSilva and Scott Roy, along with amateurs Damian Palanyandi, Will Haddrell and Jevon Roberts.

Jones, DeSilva, Palanyandi and Haddrell were all winners leading up to the Tour Championship last year, with Palanyandi winning four events.

Also among the field is former European Tour player Kim Swan and promising teenager Oliver Betschart, who finished 16th in the inaugural Butterfield Bermuda Junior Championship that concluded at Port Royal on Monday.

The Moongate Tour has been extended to nine events this year much to the delight of DeSilva.

“Last year, we started in February and then ended with the Moongate Tour Championship two-day event,” DeSilva said. “This year we are starting in January so we have one more. We have eight in total and then we have the Tour Championship, which is the ninth event.”

Port Royal will be the venue for all tournaments this year after sharing hosting duties with Ocean View Golf Course last season

Tour organisers have also secured a sponsorship deal with Paradise Golf, who will award a custom product to the winner of the season-long order of merit.

There is also a new professional/amateur team element, which will feature the three lowest professionals’ scores combined pitted against the three lowest amateurs’ scores. Each member of the team with the lowest total will receive a $50 gift voucher from the Port Royal Pro Shop courtesy of GAR Transport.

The Moongate Tour is the brainchild of professionals Andrew Trott-Francis and DeSilva, and was created to afford more competitive opportunities for local professional and low-handicap amateur players.

Moongate Championship

Tee Times (Port Royal Golf Course, Friday)

(a-denotes amateurs)

11am: Jevon Roberts (a), Cory DeSilva

11:10am: Matthew Durrant (a), Andrew Trott-Francis, Michael McCrimmon (a)

11:20am: Chris Smith, Twilton Smith, Kim Swan

11:30am: Steven Lambert, Joe Roberts (a), Bentley Gibbons (a)

11:40am: Mackih McGowan (a), Justin Watts (a), Oliver Betschart (a)

11:50am: Aaron James (a), Jamie MacMillan (a), Roger Brangman (a)

12pm: Will Haddrell (a), Chaka DeSilva, Gordon Cox (a)

12:10pm: Scott Barnett (a), Matthew Smith (a), Nick Jones

12:20pm: Junior Robinson (a), Delyone Borden, Scott Roy

12:30pm: Mackie De Souza, George O’Brien (a), Damian Palanyandi (a).

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Published January 20, 2023 at 7:41 am (Updated January 20, 2023 at 7:41 am)

Moongate Tour champion Camiko Smith to miss 2023 season opener

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