New Zealand’s Ben Campbell secured victory at the Hong Kong Open with a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole, edging out former British Open champion Cameron Smith. The Asian Tour event at Fanling concluded in a thrilling fashion, with Campbell finishing at 19-under par after a four-under par 66. This win adds Campbell’s name to the list of previous champions such as Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose, and Greg Norman. Phachara Khongwatmai, the overnight leader, experienced a late slump and ended up tied for third place.
Reflecting on his performance, Campbell admitted that he faced challenges throughout the day. Despite a less-than-ideal start and some issues with his swing, he managed to produce a couple of excellent shots when it mattered most. Phachara held a one-shot lead over Smith, with Campbell one stroke behind, as they approached the 16th tee. However, Phachara’s drive veered into the bushes, resulting in a double bogey and dropping him into a tie for second with Campbell.
Both Campbell and Phachara birdied the next hole, bringing all three players to the final hole tied at 18-under par. In the end, Campbell emerged victorious by sinking a perfectly executed downhill putt, securing a one-shot win over Smith. Phachara’s bogey on the last hole meant he finished tied for third with Richard Lee from Canada.
Campbell revealed that he had practiced similar putts during the practice round, which gave him confidence in his abilities. He aimed to let the ball fade into the hole and executed the shot successfully, even under the pressure of the final moments of the tournament.
In conclusion, Ben Campbell’s clutch performance on the final hole secured him the Hong Kong Open title. He overcame challenges and capitalized on crucial shots to claim victory over Cameron Smith. The tournament marked the return of the Hong Kong Open after a four-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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