Notes Campbell Criticizes 18 Norman Faldo Tied

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ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Michael Campbell isn't a big fan of the Old Course's closing hole.
 
The U.S. Open champion, contending again at the British Open after a 4-under 68 on Saturday, was asked if the short par-4 -- a mere 357 yards -- was a good way to finish a major.
 
Most players drive the green or come up just short, setting up the chance for a two-putt birdie. And the big hitters don't even have to use their driver.
 
No. 18 ranked as the easiest hole on Saturday, producing two eagles, 42 birdies and 32 pars. Only four players managed to bogey the hole.
 
``If they bring it back another 40 or 50 yards to the left-hand side, it would be a tough hole then,'' Campbell said.
 
The New Zealander has birdied the hole all three days. He goes into the final round with a 7-under 209, five strokes behind leader Tiger Woods.
 
``It's a very, very short hole for a finishing hole,'' Campbell said. ``You can't really miss the fairway, because it's so wide'' with the adjacent first fairway.
 
``But move it back 40 yards, that brings it back into play.''
 
Ten years ago, Campbell led going to the final round of the Open at St. Andrews, but a 76 ruined his hopes. After a discouraging slump and tedious comeback, he finally broke through at Pinehurst last month.
 
``I feel very, very confident,'' he said. ``I feel the experience is going to hold me through if I do get in a situation where I'm in the running for another major championship.''
 
Campbell believes his performance at St. Andrews shows he's ``not just a flash in the pan.''
 
``I'm here for a very long time and I want to win more majors, more major championships,'' he said.
 
NICK AND THE SHARK:
Nick Faldo and Greg Norman had some memorable encounters over the years, and they're still going strong in the 134th British Open.
 
Both shot 70 on Saturday and were at 3-under 213 going to the final round at St. Andrews.
 
Norman, who turned 50 this year, will play in his first 50-and-over event next week, the Senior British Open at Royal Aberdeen. He then heads to the U.S. Senior Open in Kettering, Ohio.
 
``I still love to play and I still love to compete,'' Norman said.
 
Faldo will be eligible for senior events in two years, but he's holding up pretty well against the youngsters in between his duties as a commentator for ABC.
 
In fact, he's doing double-duty at the Old Course, heading to the TV booth after Saturday's round.
 
Fifteen years ago, Norman and Faldo were both at 12 under and paired together for the third round at St. Andrews. Faldo shot 67 on the way to one of his three British Open titles; Norman shot 76 on the way to another missed opportunity in the majors.
 
In 1996, Norman and Faldo played together on Sunday in the final group at the Masters. The Shark blew a six-stroke lead with a 78, handing Faldo his third green jacket.
 
Norman, who did win the British twice for his lone major victories, is playing his first event since undergoing back surgery three months ago.
 
This week, it was quite an accomplishment just to make the cut. He'll likely be a contender in his senior debut.
 
``I'm just going to treat it like a golf tournament,'' Norman said. ``I'm very, very happy making this one the first one back from surgery, and I'm very happy to make the (Senior) British Open my first one as a senior major. Obviously, with the history I have over here -- I really started my career in Europe -- so it's not a bad way to start my senior career.''
 
Norman won't be a regular on the Champions Tour, but he plans to play the senior majors.
 
Faldo also sees himself playing with the 50-and-over set once he's eligible.
 
``I'm planning to, but I want to be competitive,'' he said. ``If I really think I'm competitive, then I'll give it a go. If I'm not, I don't need to go out there and feel like I'm not going to win. In that case, I'll just stay in the booth and analyze.''
 
SEAN'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE:
After qualifying for his British Open just last weekend, Sean O'Hair scrambled to get a passport and a flight across the Atlantic. He didn't even arrive at St. Andrews until Wednesday.
 
The hectic schedule hasn't hurt his play.
 
The 23-year-old American, who won the John Deere Classic last Sunday to earn a spot in the British Open, is six strokes behind leader Tiger Woods after shooting 70 on the tricky Scottish links.
 
``I'm just trying to enjoy the moment, and I'm trying to soak up all the experiences for this week,'' he said Saturday. ``But it's been crazy.
 
``I haven't gotten to enjoy it yet. But I'll be taking two weeks off to let it all sink in.''
 
FALDO'S RECORD:
Nick Faldo announced proudly that he beat Jack Nicklaus' record for sub-70 British Open rounds on the same day the Golden Bear made his St. Andrews farewell.
 
Only one problem: Faldo eclipsed the mark three years ago at Muirfield.
 
The Englishman took his record of below-70 rounds to 36 with a 69 on Friday. Nicklaus, who played his final major the same day, went into the 60s 33 times at the British.
 
LEADING TIGER:
Tiger Woods is right where he wants to be -- out front.
 
In nine previous major wins, including this year's Masters, Woods either led or had a share of the lead after three rounds.
 
Overall, he's 31-of-34 when out front after 54 holes.
 
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - 134th Open Champoinship
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  • Open Championship Trivia Challenge
     
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