GOLF

Cameron Smith & Billy Horschel Face Off, St. Augustine Crew Wins Kingfish Tournament

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Five days earlier, Cameron Smith walked the greens of St. Andrews as the British Open champion golfer of the year.

On Friday, he cruised through Florida’s coastal waters among outdoor enthusiasts in the Sunshine State — and, almost, to the top once again.

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The combined efforts of Smith, Billy Horschel and a championship golf team led the field early, but not late, in Friday’s Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament at Jim King Park in Sisters Creek.

Instead, Joseph Shugart’s crew aboard the St. Augustine-based One Time caught a 49.77-pound winner for the biggest catch of the day, while the overall two-fish championship – a category which the team of Smith and Horschel led for over an hour during the afternoon – ultimately went to Tommy Rady and the team at Salt Life Food Shack.

David Nelson (left) and Steve Strickland, crew members of Joseph Shugart’s boat One Time, react to learning the weight of their 49.67-pound trevally, the eventual winner, during the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament at the Jim King Park at Sisters Creek on July 22, 2022. [Clayton Freeman/Florida Times-Union]

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Less than a week after his golden Final 64 at St. Andrews, Jacksonville resident Smith was back on the First Coast, teaming up with seven-time PGA Tour winner Horschel and a crew full of aces of the course. golf to win sixth place. in global competition.

Already champion this week on the grass, Smith almost added the victory in the surf. The crew, with Brandon Arthurs listed as tournament captain, weighed in a pair of 29 pounds shortly after 3 p.m. to take the lead at 59.27 pounds.

The learning curve proved to be smooth for Horschel, who had landed a mid-morning 29.82 pounds.

“Cam fishes a lot more than me, the boys fish a lot more than me, but yeah that’s by far my biggest trevally because I’ve never caught one,” said Horschel, whose week at the Old Course wasn’t too shabby. He finished tied for 21st at 5 under, winning $120,286 in prize money.

British Open golf champion Cameron Smith prepares to leave the dock after his crew weighed two fish during the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament at Jim King Park in Sisters Creek on July 22, 2022. [Clayton Freeman/Florida Times-Union]

British Open golf champion Cameron Smith prepares to leave the dock after his crew weighed two fish during the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament at Jim King Park in Sisters Creek on July 22, 2022. [Clayton Freeman/Florida Times-Union]

Horschel said Terry Kelly – the father of Matt Kelly, caddy of PGA Tour golfer Marc Leishman of Australia – caught the Smith crew’s second kingfish at 29.45 pounds.

While Friday’s $1,500 overall prize for sixth place is a far cry from the $2.5 million Smith earned for his St. Andrews triumph, the experience left unique memories for Horschel.

PGA Tour golfer Billy Horschel (left) and a second crew member react as the weight of their fish is displayed on a screen during the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament at Jim King Park in Sisters Creek on July 22, 2022. [Clayton Freeman/Florida Times-Union]

PGA Tour golfer Billy Horschel (left) and a second crew member react as the weight of their fish is displayed on a screen during the Greater Jacksonville Kingfish Tournament at Jim King Park in Sisters Creek on July 22, 2022. [Clayton Freeman/Florida Times-Union]

“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “It’s something I don’t do all the time, so I think we all had fun.”

For a time, golfer’s grips looked like possible championship material. Smith’s crew led the overall standings until Lyle Rose of Hilliard aboard Cherokee Rose advanced with a pair of fish with a combined value of 65.28 pounds around 4:30 p.m. Rady and l Salt Life Food Shack crew took home the total prize of $12,000 with catches of 39.80 and 31.83 pounds for a whopping total of 71.63 pounds.

“The bite was pretty good all day,” Rady said.

Shugart quickly ended the suspense in the Big Fish Championship.

Shugart’s catch, the third to weigh in, proved untouchable, a nearly 50-pound mammoth trevally that held comfortably all day. No subsequent fish even exceeded the 40-pound mark.

The crew finally brought the king back after a battle lasting about 15–20 minutes shortly after 10 a.m. Once they had the fish on board, they knew big fish honors – and the price of a new boat as part of a package worth an estimated $160,000 – seemed within reach. tomorrow.

“We fish everywhere, travel everywhere, the Keys, North Carolina, Biloxi,” said David Nelson, a crew member who weighed the catch. “We caught a lot of big fish, and we knew we were there, we were contenders.”

Closest to Shugart’s crew was the first fish of the day, brought ashore by Mike Strickland’s crew just after the weigh tent opened at 3pm. This fish, weighed in by Andrew Runyon and Bruce Brown, took the lead at 40.81 pounds and finished in second place in the one-day fishing format.

For a time, Runyon said, the crew had no idea how big the fish were during a grueling 30-minute morning fight.

“We couldn’t see him for 25 minutes, then he came and gave us a wide view of him and we could see him,” Runyon said. “So yeah, we were really excited when we saw it.”

Jacksonville’s Kaylee Canady won first prize in the Lady Angler division with a catch of 27.49 pounds.

This year’s all-around tournament was the first in nearly a decade to take place over a single day, a schedule revamped earlier in the year due to soaring global petrol prices, which is now showing signs of slowing down.

In total, tournament officials reported 343 entries for the one-day competition.

Clayton Freeman covers high school sports and more for the Florida Times-Union. Follow him on Twitter at @CFreemanJAX.

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: British Open champion Cameron Smith fishing at Jacksonville Kingfish event

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