14 Dec 2023 | Amateur golf |
Campbell adds course record and career progression
by Jimmy Emanuel
Phoenix Campbell surprised some when he decided to remain in the amateur ranks after capturing the Queensland PGA title on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia this summer.
Comfortable that he has a two-year exemption on his home professional circuit to activate when he wishes, in the mould of Harrison Crowe, Campbell is continuing to prepare himself for life in the play-for-pay ranks.
His latest preparation is coming at Geoff Ogilvy’s Sandbelt Invitational.
That experience saw Campbell add his first ever course record at his home club of Yarra Yarra Golf Club on Tuesday. The Victorian signed for a seven-under 63 to match the score of Brett Coletta just a few groups in front, the pair going past David Micheluzzi’s mark from last year’s Sandbelt Invitational.
Clearly chuffed with his new place on a brand new honour board Campbell was being shown by Head Professional Andrew Bertram, the 22-year-old undertook a study in what Tour life can be like during the third round’s two weather delays.
Watching a mixture of veterans sitting comfortably trading stories, younger players scrolling the TikTok and Instagram, some eating their weight in provided food and others stretching to stay limber, Campbell noted the value of learning professional golf isn’t all sunshine and pay checks.
“In terms of the weather, I’ve never really experienced such delays, obviously still relatively inexperienced, but I was kind of thinking in the back of my mind 'this is my job now, just got to adapt and be flexible',” Campbell said.
Another opportunity on offer for Campbell has been getting in the mix again and learning to deal with feelings of being in contention, which he will need to find plenty of birdies to do so as he chases Daniel Gale in the final round.
Campbell’s confidence is certainly not the likely issue following his recent successes, instead the seven-shot deficit the more likely hurdle.
“Nudgee was just a real affirmative for me. I walked away with a lot of belief," he said.
"I feel like in the past it’s maybe been something that has lacked slightly, getting that win and knowing that I kind of belong now has been really big for me.”
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