Campbell finishes with a flourish

New Zealand's Michael Campbell, fresh from a successful Tiger hunt in Taiwan, roared home to claim the halfway lead at the 640,000 US dollar Australian Open on Friday.

New Zealand's Michael Campbell, fresh from a successful Tiger hunt in Taiwan, roared home to claim the halfway lead at the 640,000 US dollar Australian Open on Friday.

Birdies at the final four holes helped Campbell turn a 4-shot deficit to playing partner Aaron Baddeley into a 1-shot lead over the Australian amateur.

Campbell had a 7-under 65 at Royal Sydney Golf Club to go to 10-under while Baddeley had a 4-under 68 to be alone in second at 9-under.

Three Australians are at 8-under - Brendan Jones, Nick O'Hern and overnight leader Paul Gow while the leading European players were Ireland's Paul McGinley and English youngster Anthony Wall who were both 7-under.

Campbell is one of a rare breed to win a tournament featuring Woods in the past few months as the American closed his year with 10 victories from 14 starts. He claimed the Johnnie Walker Classic a fortnight ago as Woods came sixth.

"It's been two weeks now and I'm still riding the crest of a wave," Campbell said. "I'm totally in control of my game at the moment."

Campbell, 30, was ranked No 2 on the Australasian tour in 1995 but then went into a free fall. He was 32nd the next year and in 1997 missed the cut in all six tournaments he entered.

Baddeley, who relieves tension on the golf course by singing songs between shots, led by two shots after 16 holes but a bogey at the par-3 17th cost him as Campbell continued his surge.

Baddeley, who considers himself a "45-handicapper as a singer" is just 18 and only completed his high school studies three weeks ago, wrapping them up in time to compete on the tour.

But he appears far from overawed by a field including major winners Nick Faldo and Greg Norman and Europe's top player Colin Montgomerie, or the weight of history.

Bruce Devlin, the last amateur to win an Australian Open, back in 1960 or 11 years before Baddeley was born, congratulated the youngster after Friday's round.

"I'm not surprised to be where I am," said Baddeley. "I came here to win the tournament."

Montgomerie got his putter work satisfactorily for the first time in four tournaments to stay in contention with a 67 after an opening round 72 to be five off the lead.

"I have a chance now," Montgomerie said. "Another even par round and I wouldn't have been. I'll be a way behind but if I can get a couple of 66s or something you never know."

Montgomerie has been upset with his work on the greens and changed his pre-round routine to concentrate solely on the putting green Friday.

He started with three straight birdies and admitted his round could have been even better in good morning conditions.

Norman had a rollercoaster ride to a 73 which leaves him at 1-under and nine shots adrift of Campbell.

England's Nick Faldo was also inconsistent, improving from his overnight 4-under to 7-under in four holes Friday before falling apart with four bogeys in the back nine. He was 2-under after two rounds and not in a hopeful mood.

"It doesn't feel great now after that," Faldo said. "The short game really let me down and I had three three putts."

Leading second-round scores and totals in the Australian Open at Royal Sydney, Australia (Aus unless stated, par 72):

134 M Campbell (Nzl) 69 65135 A Baddeley 67 68136 B Jones 66 70, N O'Hern 68 68, P Gow 64 72137 P McGinley (Irl) 67 70, A Wall (Eng) 69 68138 P O'Malley 71 67, M Long (Nzl) 70 68, J Moseley 66 72139 C Montgomerie (Sco) 72 67, P Lonard 73 66, G Chalmers 74 65, R Pampling 68 71, C Spence 69 70, G Ogilvy 70 69140 B Partridge 69 71, M Ecob 68 72141 D Howell (Eng) 69 72, S Gardiner 68 73, T Bjorn (Den) 71 70, G Dodd 74 67, C Hanson 75 66, A Stolz 70 71, L Parsons 69 72

Selected others:142 N Faldo (Eng) 68 74143 G Norman 70 73, D Tapping (Eng) 71 72, R Russell (Sco) 70 73144 J Van de Velde (Fra) 71 73145 S Webster (Eng) 73 72, R Johnson (USA) 73 72, T Dier (Ger) 71 74146 R Byrd (USA) 73 73, M Norgren (Swe) 74 72147 J-L Guepy (Fra) 73 74148 JJ West (USA) 75 73150 LW Chong (Chn) 75 75154 P Haugsrud (Nor) 79 75

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss