Campbell seeks spot at British Open

Mark Garrod, NZ Newswire July 3, 2012, 9:12 am

Seven years after winning the US Open, New Zealand's Michael Campbell faces a very different task on Tuesday as 288 players battle for a mere 12 places in the coming British Open.

With his world ranking having crashed to 910th - he has made only two cuts in his last 20 tournaments - the 43-year-old could not even get into the field for last week's international qualifier at Sunningdale.

Instead he is at the West Lancashire course near Liverpool competing in the 36-hole final qualifying event before then travelling to Paris for the French Open starting on Thursday.

Campbell finished tied for third at the Open in 1995 and shared fifth in his US Open-winning year in 2005 when he also finished joint sixth at the PGA Championship.

Joining him at West Lancashire are fellow Kiwis Mark Brown and Steven Alker.

Southport and Ainsdale, Hillside and St Annes Old Links are also venues, with 72 golfers at each looking for one of three spots.

Bristol's Chris Wood, fifth at Birkdale in 2008 as an amateur and then third at Turnberry a year later, has chosen this route to try to make it to Royal Lytham and he plays at St Annes, as do former Ryder Cup trio Barry Lane, Jarmo Sandelin and Paul Broadhurst - still joint holder of a major record with the 63 he shot at St Andrews back in 1990.

Three-time European Tour winner Nick Dougherty, who lost his card last season after a nightmare time in which he survived only one cut in over 30 starts, plays at Southport and Ainsdale, while Hillside sees ex-Ryder Cup teammates Peter Baker and Mark James playing together.