By Andrew Gourdie
Kiwi golfer Michael Campbell's bid for his first tournament victory in seven years has ended in disappointment, after he finished tied for eighth at the Hong Kong open.
But after a third-place finish at the Portugal Masters last month, the signs are good for something of a resurgence. So what's behind his return to form?
After 2618 days in the golfing wilderness, his early success in Hong Kong was surreal. With a birdie at the first, Campbell moved to the outright lead in the final round at the Hong Kong open. He knew this was a genuine chance for an unlikely victory.
The trouble was his playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez was in red hot form.
Campbell trailed the Spaniard by four shots at the turn, and couldn't keep up with the pace. He finished the final round with a two-over-par 72 punctuated with a double bogey on the last.
“I can reflect on this week being a very positive week,” he says, “I've still got things to work on, work in progress but I can go away with my head up pretty high,” he says.
Campbell clearly relished being in contention in Hong Kong and his eighth place finish continues a strong recent run of results.
While he's found some form, his body language suggests he's also rediscovered his hunger for victory and his passion for the game.
That could be because earlier this year he renewed his relationship with coach Jonathan Yarwood - the man who guided Campbell during the height of his success.
“During that time we created a blueprint for how his game ticks,” says Yarwood. “Now we've combined that desire with his original tools, or a sharpened up 2012 version of his tools let's say, and got him excited about playing golf again. This could be an incredible story”.
If Campbell needs inspiration, he needn't look further than his playing partner Jimenez, who at 48 became the oldest player to win on the European tour.
At 43, there's still plenty of time for a ‘Cambo Comeback’.