Campbell Opens Strong in Germany


Michael Campbell didnt do much wrong on Thursday at St. Leon Rot, as the Kiwi carded an opening round of 10-under-par 62 to take the first-round lead at the Deutsche Bank ' SAP Open.
While no lower round of golf has ever been played upon the grounds of St. Leon, Campbells will unfortunately not count as an official course record because players were operating in a lift-clean-and-place format following torrential rains which forced a seven-hour delay early Thursday morning.
The score does, however, count as the low round of Campbells career ' as was the prior course record at St. Leon Rot, Campbells best leading into Thursday was a 63.
I hit the ball great today and sank a few long putts, the New Zealander stated following his round. Most of my birdie putts were from four or five feet and it makes the game easier if you hit it close.
Campbell indeed hit it close all day. His round began with a birdie at the par-5 1st and ended with another red number at the par-4 18th.
He did not make a bogey all day, and his superb round of golf sees him four shots clear of the field entering Day Two.
Four players, including defending champion Lee Westwood and South African Ernie Els, shot rounds of 6-under 66, while Andrew Coltart headed up another group of four who carded 67.
World No. 1 Tiger Woods went around in 69 Thursday. At minus-three, he is seven shots back of the leader.
I am seven in front of Tiger but that is not many with three rounds to play, Campbell added. Its nice to lead after the first round but I have enough experience to know that it is more important to get the trophy at the end of four rounds. This is the lowest Ive gone, but my goal is to go out and try to shoot another low one tomorrow.
Another player looking for a low round on Day Two will be Westwood. The reigning Order of Merit champion ' who won five times last year on the European Tour ' has only competed in two events this season on tour, due en large to the recent birth of his first child.
Thursday, the big Englishman closed his round with four birdies over his last six holes.
I played okay and hit quite a few good shots, Westwood commented. I wasnt entirely happy with my game, but to shoot 66 when youre not happy means, I suppose, that you have to be happy.
As did Westwood, Els turned his game on in the later half, as he eagled the par-5 1st (his 10th of the day) and followed suit with three more birdies to close in a fine 66.
The tenth was really the turning point, said Els. I hit a 3-wood 263 yards to four feet and holed the putt. All in all, to not make a bogey was quite good. I had the R&A driver out today and started to hit some good ones on the back nine. I just have to get used to the shaft and loft.
Full-field scores from the Deutsche Bank - SAP Open