Golf: Campbell hoping career in US takes off

Former Otago golfer Thomas Campbell with the 'trophy' he got for winning a tournament on the Dakotas Tour. Photo supplied.
Former Otago golfer Thomas Campbell with the 'trophy' he got for winning a tournament on the Dakotas Tour. Photo supplied.
Former Otago representative Thomas Campbell hopes his latest success will help launch him higher in the golfing ranks.

Campbell (27) recorded his first win as a professional at the Westward Ho Country Club in South Dakota over the weekend.

After finishing on the NGA Tour, the third-tier American tour after the Web.com and PGA tours, Campbell has completed three events on the Dakotas Tour for a win, a second and a tie for seventh.

''It's about time. I've been pretty close in the last few weeks,'' Campbell said of his win.

He carded 69 and 66 in the first two rounds and led by two shots going into the final round.

Campbell held on to win by two strokes from Americans Jack Newman and Jay Myers, coming home with six birdies and just one bogey to card a 5-under-par 67, for a 14-under-par total of 202.

''I actually started off 4-over after five holes. It was really windy and I made a double bogey on the second hole, which is a par 5, and four-putted the fifth hole.

''It made me mad, but made me really focus back on track pretty quick. Then I went eagle, birdie, birdie.''

The winner's cheque of US$17,500 ($NZ22,291) has propelled Campbell to the top of the Dakotas Tour money list. After three events, he has earned US$24,552.50, nearly $8000 ahead of his nearest rival.

He heads back to his adopted home for this week's Minnesota State Open in good form and optimistic.

''It's in Minneapolis so it's kind of nice to be back home for a week. I'm pretty confident. The last three years I've finished in the top five or six in that event and I haven't played that great.''

Campbell will be hoping his putter behaves, as he feels it is one area where there is room for improvement. He is normally a solid putter but has been struggling with the pace of the greens.

''It's actually been one of my weaknesses - just not getting it to the hole, not giving myself enough chances.''

Campbell intends going to the Web.com qualifying school which begins in October and runs until December, hoping to gain his card for next year.

- Michael Minty.