Michael Campbell reacts after putting on the 15th hole.
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
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
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 intended 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
"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."
Campbell did admit that his golf had not been pretty but was
just about good enough to keep him in contention.
"I managed to grind out a score, turning would could have
been a 73 into a 69. That par save (at 18) was pretty
important," he added.
If Jimenez does go on to win the event on Sunday, he will
become the oldest player to claim a European Tour victory at
the ripe old age of 48 years and 318 days. Ireland's Des
Smyth was 284 days younger when he won the Madeira Island
Open in 2001.
However, both Campbell and Jimenez face a fourth round
challenge from a player at the other end of the golfing age
After a third-round 64, Matteo Manassero is only one shot off
the pace having last weekend become the first teenager to win
three times on the European Tour when the Italian captured
the Singapore Open in a playoff.
The 19-year-old had begun his round six shots off the pace
but ended it within touching distance, tied for third with
China's Zhang Lianwei, after a sizzling inward nine of 30
that included a run of five successive threes.