Mon, Oct 15, 2012 - Page 18 News List

Michael Campbell fires 67 to close on leader Wiesberger

AFP, VILAMOURA, Portugal

Former US Open champion Michael Campbell, whose career went into free-fall after his one and only major triumph in 2005, moved into contention on the third day of the Portugal Masters on Saturday.

The New Zealander went into the final day just four shots behind leader Bernd Wiesberger of Austria after firing a third-round 67.

Campbell is now down at No. 607 in the world rankings, having not had a top 10 finish on the European Tour since 2008. In 2010, he made only one cut in 19 starts.

“It’s seven years since my last win and I was surprised how calm I was out there, but I’ve won enough around the world to know what to do and I’m pretty excited about Sunday,” said Campbell, who was on nine-under 204 after three rounds. “Over the last three or four years, I’ve put too much pressure on myself to perform. I’ve gone back to [the] basics and it’s fun once again.”

Campbell shares third place with Irishman Shane Lowry and England’s Richard Finch, but it could have been better for the New Zealander had he not bogeyed the last hole.

Six birdies in seven holes around the turn helped Wiesberger claim a one-shot lead for the tournament.

The Austrian, already a two-time winner this season, had all his birdies between the eighth and 14th holes in a bogey-free round of 65.

He started the final round on 13-under, one shot ahead of overnight leader Ross Fisher of England.

“After seven holes, I was not thinking about a 65,” Wiesberger said. “I hit some poor wedges early on, but I grinded through that, and hit better shots around the turn and into the back nine.”

Spain’s Miguel Angel Jimenez, 48, trying to become the oldest winner in European Tour history, finished with a 30-foot birdie putt for a round of 68, putting him five shots off the pace.

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