Tournament article

Asia Pacific Open Golf Championship Diamond Cup Golf 2022

Open bound Campbell eyes grandstand finish away from home

Open bound Campbell eyes grandstand finish away from home

Already bound for The Open at St. Andrews this July, New Zealand golfer Ben Campbell has another chance to turn his already pleasant season into an even better one.


The 29-year-old will be aiming to claim his first-ever JGTO title after playing himself into contention with a superb four-under-par 66 in the penultimate stage at the Oarai Golf Club on Saturday.


Campbell recovered well from an early bogey on the fourth hole by picking up five shots in the next nine holes.


He would concede a second bogey of the day on the 12th but swiftly made up for it with a birdie on the 15th to finish in a four-way tie for the first spot with Ryuko Tokimatsu, Yuto Katsuragawa and Kaito Onishi.


"I played solid. My front nine was really good. I just putted solid the whole day," he said.


"It’s a great golf course. It’s tough. You just have to stay patient out there.


"If I can hit it a little bit better tomorrow, I think I should be in a good position. I’ve been putting well."


Campbell, a former world number six amateur, has been on form this year, with a runner-up finish at the PGA Tour of Australasia's Vic Open in February being his best result to date.


The Kiwi’s outstanding effort earned him a dream start at the 150th The Open from July 14-17.


Campbell, who was sidelined for 18 months following a hip surgery before returning in April last year, also underlined his determination to make up for lost time by finishing eighth at the SMBC Singapore Open.


Campbell will be relishing the prospect of playing full-time in Japan, and it could happen if he goes on to secure a Tour card with a victory today.


Campbell made four starts in 2017 but failed to make an impact.


But that trip was memorable enough to make him keen on coming back for more.


"I love coming to Japan. The people here are amazing. I love the food as well. I love the golf courses we play here," said Campbell.


"Every time we come out here, it’s always been amazing. I always enjoy myself here. It would be great to have a good day tomorrow."