European Tour

Kiwi Campbell opens 4-shot lead in Fiji

Ben Campbell (Getty Images)
Ben Campbell (Getty Images)

Wellington - New Zealander Ben Campbell took a commanding four-shot lead in the Fiji International on Friday after carding a smart 66 on day two at the Natadola Bay Golf Club.

It put him 11-under 133 at the halfway stage with closest challenger, Australian Andrew Dodt, at 137.

Campbell, who finished day one in a four-way tie for the lead after firing a 67 in high winds, broke away with seven birdies in his second round before dropping a stroke on the 18th.

"I played really well out there," he said.

"Got off to a nice start, which was good, birdied my second hole and just played really solid, kept the ball in play.

"I didn't hit really too many bad shots out there. The putter was feeling good, chipped it well and it was just keep the ball in play, so couldn't complain."

The 26-year-old turned professional in 2012 but is making only his ninth European Tour start after his career was curtailed by injury and illness.

Two of his European Tour appearances came in Fiji in 2016 and 2017, where he made the cut on both occasions. He is now a strong chance to improve on his best finish of 21st two years ago.

Campbell birdied the second, fifth and seventh to turn in 33 with further gains on the 11th, 12th, 14th and 17th before giving one back on the last.

Australia's Maverick Antcliff came within two shots of the leader when he holed a 10-footer after four birdies in a row, but fell back to three under later in the day.

Dodt emerged as Campbell's closest challenger, a shot ahead of countrymen Jarryd Felton and Terry Pilkadaris.

Pilkadaris had eight birdies and four bogeys to card a 68.

China's Wu Ashun eagled the 17th to be five under, alongside Australians Nick Cullen, Steven Jeffress and Jake McLeod, Kiwis Harry Bateman and Nick Voke, and India's Gaganjeet Bhullar.

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