Campbell survives scares to remain on course in Hong Kong

Sat Nov 17, 2012 5:23am EST
 

FANLING, Hong Kong (Reuters) - Michael Campbell survived two major scares but the New Zealander remains on course to end a seven-year title drought at the Hong Kong Open.

The 43-year-old started Saturday's third round with a one-stroke advantage and after scrambling to shoot a one-under-par 69, he was joined at the top of the leaderboard by Spain's Miguel Angel Jimenez on 10-under for the tournament.

Campbell struggled to keep his nose ahead but by the end of the day, he was thankful to still be in with a chance of winning for the first time since 2005, when he followed up his U.S. Open triumph with the World Match Play Championship title.

His victory tilt first came under threat when he accidentally struck his ball while preparing to tee off on the 10th hole.

The ball travelled a few yards but Campbell was able to replace it without penalty after European Tour referee John Paramor accepted he had not indented to play a shot.

Campbell was in more trouble on the 18th when he found a greenside bunker with his approach and appeared set to drop a shot after a poor recovery.

He did well to retrieve the situation, however, by sinking a 20-foot par putt to maintain a share of the lead.

"What happened on the 10th tee was hilarious," Campbell told reporters.

"I have never done that since I started playing golf 38 years ago. But I knew it was not a penalty and when John Paramor started walking towards me with a smile on his face, I knew I was fine to replace the ball."   Continued...