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Campbell aiming high in Japan

Ben Campbell watches the ball fly during the New Zealand Open. PHOTO/GETTY IMAGES

By Gary Caffell

Ace Masterton golfer Ben Campbell is heading to Japan this Saturday to play in three professional tournaments there, starting with the Kensai Open Championship in Kyoto on May 18.

This opportunity arose through Campbell being the highest-placed non-Japan Tour player in the recent New Zealand Open where he finished equal runner-up to Kiwi Michael Hendry after a playoff and he is determined to make the most of it.

“It’s another chance to chalk up some good results in decent company . . . it’s a challenge I’m really looking forward to.”

Campbell admits his preparation for the Japan trip has been limited but says that has been a deliberate move on his part.

Following the NZ Open he travelled to Toowoomba for the Queensland PGA but was forced to pull out in the second round when a bug he caught on the plane caused him too much discomfort to continue.

Once back at his now home base in Queenstown Campbell decided to have a complete break from golf and the next three weeks saw him mostly out in the hills following one of his favourite pursuits, hunting.

“It was actually nice to get away from golf for a little while and relax doing other things I enjoy, it freshened up the mind and I think I was ready for that.”

Campbell returned to golf at the Charles Carrus Open in Tauranga a couple of weeks ago where he tied for 15th, a result which actually pleased him considering he struggled with the putter.

“I knew I would be rusty and it was more about getting some rhythm back into the game than anything else, it could have been a lot worse.”

Since that appearance the Campbell focus has been on eliminating some of the “bad habits” which he said had actually started creeping into his game over the latter stages of the New Zealand Open, like allowing the body to get into the wrong position on the back swing.

“It’s one of the things which can happen in this game, you don’t work hard enough to correct what are initially small things which don’t seem to matter too much and they grow into something bigger.

“Correct and monitor, that’s what you have to keep doing and I’ve been struggling with that.”

From Japan Campbell will turn his attention to the United States where he intends to play in a number of qualifying events for the Web.com Tour, which is just one tier below the US PGA and then he will contest the Fiji International in August, an event which is co-sanctioned by the European and Asian tours.

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