Confident Smith heads to Jamaica

  • Eye on the prize: Camiko Smith was the top local player at the Gosling’s Invitational (Photograph by Colin Thompson)
  • Camiko Smith on the driving range after carding a 7 under 64 yesterday (Photograph by Colin Thompson)

Camiko Smith will look to carry his sparkling form into the Jamaica Open this week.

He is among the field that will compete at the Half Moon Golf Club in Montego Bay for a share of the $100,000 in prize money. Smith warmed up for the 54-hole event at the par-72 Robert Trent Jones Sr designed course in the best possible way with a solid showing at the Gosling’s Invitational last week.

He was the highest local finisher and tied for fifth overall with a five-under 277, which included a second round seven-under 64 that equalled Masters winner Adam Scott’s course record at Port Royal Golf Course.

“This is pretty big for my confidence,” Smith, who arrived in Jamaica yesterday, said. “I played really well despite not playing much and playing with a slight injury.”

Smith hopes to pick up where he left off when he tees off on Thursday.

“This is my first time down there and it should be really fun,” he said. “I’m feeling pretty good and hopefully I can take my form [into the competition.”

There is an added incentive for the field at the Jamaica Open as the top three finishers will earn automatic qualification to the inaugural $175,000 Jamaica Classic at Cinnamon Hill in Montego Bay. The event, to be played in April, has been added to the PGA Latin America Tour schedule this year.

“There should be a lot of good players there,” Smith said. “I think I can do well and get in the top ten. I’ve got to work on my putting to sharpen that up a bit and learn to close a little better.”

Smith came to within three shots of overall winner Daniel Gaunt’s lead at the Gosling’s Invitational before falling off the pace during the final two rounds at Belmont Hills Golf Club.