Campbell maintains slender lead

11/17/2012 7:19:13 AM
Michael Campbell   (Getty Images)
Michael Campbell (Getty Images)
Michael Campbell reached the turn with one shot overnight lead still intact as the UBS Hong Kong Open third round continued in Fanling.

The New Zealander – returning to form after contending with injuries and loss of form in recent years – shot a one under outward 34 to reach ten under at Hong Kong Golf Club.

That left the former US Open Champion one clear of two-time winner Miguel Angel Jiménez and Swede Fredrik Andersson Hed.

Campbell was initially caught by playing partner Zhang Lian-wei at the top of the leaderboard.

Having made a perfect start with a 15 foot birdie putt at the first, the 43 year old did well to rescue par from ten feet at the third after his drive bounced off a cart path into a stream; however Zhang followed a birdie two at the second with one from 12 feet there to join him in top spot.

A superb approach to the fourth brought Zhang another birdie and the outright lead, and when he got up and down from a greenside bunker at the fifth the 47 year old had needed just five putts in his opening five holes.

He needed three at the next, although so did Campbell, but Zhang bogeyed the next two as well as his playing partner birdied the seventh after a fine approach to eight feet.

Jiménez – at 48 looking to become The European Tour’s oldest winner – and Andersson Hed were both one under through ten holes, while Zhang was joined in a tie for fourth by last week’s winner Matteo Manassero.

The Italian, whose win in Singapore made him the first teenager to claim three European Tour titles, was wasting no time looking for a fourth as he followed an eagle from 15 feet at the 13th with consecutive birdies to be five under for the day.