Michael Campbell continued his amazing comeback and is now leading the UBS Hong Kong Open at the halfway stage on the Fanling Golf Course. Michael shot a second round of -6 under par, 64, to top the leaderboard and have a one shot advantage over Miguel Angel Jiménez, Fredrik Andersson-Hed and China’s Lian-wei Zhang, all of them with a tournament total of -8 under par.
Buoyed by his great day in the field, Michael had plenty to say;
“Today was a day where I played great from tee-to-green and holed a few nice putts for pars and birdies. I’m just happy to be in a position to have a chance for the weekend; that’s why we play the game, that’s why I didn’t give up. That’s why I just stuck at it, just stuck working hard on my game, and I knew that this would happen, I deserve it, really. It’s been a gradual build-up over the last three or four months, a few top fifteen’s. Portugal was a great boost to my confidence, and it shows this week. You can’t buy confidence, you just have to earn it, and I think I’ve earned it over the last seven years since I haven’t won a golf tournament. I have been patient. There have been times where I wanted to throw it in, but what’s really inspired me over the last four or five years is seeing my friends around the same age bracket as me, in the 40-plus club. The likes of Ernie winning his fourth Major, Thomas Björn winning three times last year, Paul Lawrie has had a wonderful last couple of years, and Jim Furyk winning the FedEx Cup last year. The list goes on, so 40 isn’t a bad age to be playing golf. Seeing my friends win tournaments left, right and centre definitely inspired me to not give up and keep on playing. At one particular time, I remember I was back in Sydney back home with my family and I said to myself, okay, tonight is where I decide whether I’m going to give up the game or keep on playing, keep on practicing. I went to bed that night and I woke up in the morning, and there something inside me said to me: ‘look, keep on going, you’ve still got the talent’. It doesn’t go away, the talent, it’s always with you. It never goes away; it just hides now and then. I decided to just keep on working hard and that was it really.”
Michael was also relieved that Rory had missed the cut, he four putted the last green and was out;
“That makes it a lot easier for the rest of the field!”
Overnight leader Javi Colomo shot a one over 71 to drop back into a tie for sixth, but World number one, and defending Champion Rory McIlroy missed the cut, a sad Rory admitted;
“I just got on a slide and couldn’t stop it, obviously not the week that I wanted. I was only four off the lead and thinking I could make a couple more and be right back in contention. Unfortunately it just went the other way. I didn’t putt well last week and sort of got away with it. This week was the same, so I think a bit of putting practice is required in Dubai. I think these couple of days off might actually do me good. It’ll give me a chance to rest. I think if I was completely fresh I wouldn’t have been making the mistakes. On the last I saw the projected cut was plus two, so I wanted to try to hole it for birdie.
His 30-foot attempt caught the lip, but ran on five feet and he took three more, a sad end to a great run this year, hopefully he can return to form next week in Dubai, at the DP World Tour Championship.