Campbell ready to pounce at NZ Open
BY iseekgolf.com | Australasian PGA Tour | 2006 New Zealand Open | Round Two | 01 Dec 2006
New Zealand’s favourite golfing son Michael Campbell finished a shot off the lead after the second round of the Blue Chip New Zealand Open at Gulf Harbour today and warned he was in the right frame of mind to win his second national open championship.
Campbell joined pace-setters, Englishman Nick Dougherty and Australian Wade Ormsby, on seven-under after birdieing the 17th hole, but he dropped his only shot at the last when he “chunked” a straight-forward chip and failed for once to hole the par-saving putt.
Ormsby, who shot the tournament low-round of 63, eight-under par, in the afternoon and the well-respected Dougherty, who backed up his opening 69 with a five-under 66 in the morning, both finished on 135 with Campbell a shot back and overnight leader, Western Australian Scott Strange, another shot back and alone in fourth place.
Nine players were three off the pace on 138 including a crop of well-performed Australians, notably veteran Peter Senior, left-handed Greg Chalmers and in-form Nathan Green.
The cut was at two-over 144 and 67 professionals will contest the final 36 holes at the weekend. No amateurs made the cut with the Bledisloe Cup shared by New Plymouth’s Troy Ropiha and Hamilton’s James Gill on 145, one shot off the cut.
Campbell, who eagled the second extra hole to win his first New Zealand Open at Paraparaumu Beach in 2000, said he was “quietly confident” he could repeat that feat
“But I’m not going to get too complacent – I’ve done that before and have suffered the consequences.”
Campbell said after his par round onThursday that he felt a low round was imminent and he backed his words from the outset this afternoon. He eagled the par-5 second from 5m and birdied the next from 5m to kick-start his round.
He had a lovely touch on the greens – he attributed that to arriving at the course half an hour earlier than usual to work on a few mental and technical issues with the putter – and his accuracy was good apart from his drive at the last.
“I’m happy where I am, mentally and physically. The confidence is there, I can see the line of the putts and the ball-striking is good. I’ve only missed five fairways in the last 36 holes.
Campbell also took the stance that by not having a full quota of European Tour professionals benefited New Zealand golfers who otherwise would not have had the chance to contest their own national open.
Ormsby, whose professional career was launched when he finished equal fifth in the 2003 New Zealand Open at Middlemore after having to qualify on the Monday, had 22 putts and was delighted that a tip about alignment from fellow Australian professional, Peter Fowler, had worked the oracle.
Ormsby, a 26-year-old from Adelaide, had nine birdies and one bogey in his record round of 63 and many of birdies were from short putts although he slotted a 10m birdie putt at the 16th and a 6.5m birdie at the last.
Dougherty had five birdies and never dropped a shot. The 24-year-old from Surrey was poised to make the Ryder Cup team before a form slump which coincided with some personal setbacks.
He said he had been pushing himself too hard and was more relaxed when playing in Australasia.
“I took everything personally. I got bad breaks on the course. I blasphemed, but the golf ball has no memory. I treated it too importantly.”
Photo – Photosport
Source – NZGA