Michael Campbell finishes third in Portugal

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 07:37 15/10/2012
Michael Campbell
Getty Images
CASHING IN: Michael Campbell recorded his first top-three finish on the European Tour in more than four years at the Portugal Masters.

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Michael Campbell's golf career continues to show signs of life.

The 2005 US Open champion has recorded his first top-three finish on the European Tour in four years after securing third place at the Portugal Masters in Vilamoura this morning (NZT).

Campbell has fought various golfing demons since his win at Pinehurst seven years ago and has never got close to replicating that career-best form, freefalling to currently sit outside the top 600 in the world rankings.

But he's been on the improve during the past two months, with two top-15 finishes in Europe and now this, his best result since a tie for third at the British Masters in September 2008.

It was also the best result by a New Zealand on the European Tour since Danny Lee won the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth as an amateur in February 2009.

Consistency has been a major problem but Campbell showed he was still capable of putting four good rounds together, with scores of 68, 69, 67 and 69 for a 12-under par total 272 at the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course.

That was two shots behind the winner, Ireland's Shane Lowry, who closed with a five-under 66 to beat England's Ross Fisher (70) by a stroke.

Campbell was alone in third, with Austrian Bernd Wiesberger, the third round leader, fourth at 11-under following a final round 73.

It was the New Zealander's seventh cut from 18 events this year but easily his best pay-day, collecting about $220,000 for his efforts. That sees the 43-year-old move from outside the top 130 to 86th in the Race to Dubai.

There are six more events before the top 60 on tour will playoff at the Dubai world championship in late-November, and Campbell is now in the frame to make that cut.

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