Campbell Third at Asian Amateur

Ben Campbell headed into the final round of the Asian Amateur championship in Singapore with a one-shot lead over Japan's Hideki Matsuyama.

The New Zealander had fired earlier rounds of 67-66-69 to set up another opportunity to claim a major amateur title and a place at next year's Masters Tournament, yet on the final day Matsuyama would rain on Campbell's parade. Campbell would miss by two and secure third place finish.

Matsuyama had stormed home with a 7-under-par third round 65 enough to swing the momentum his way as the Japanese star fired a final round 67 to win the championship by a stroke over South Korea's, Soo-min Lee.

Rounds of 67-71-65-67 for an 18-under-par total enabled Matsuyama to defend his title and secure his second appearance at The Masters.

Matsuyama last year at The Masters won the coveted Silver Cup as the highest placed amateur who made the cut. His tie for 27th at Augusta National Golf Club left him impressively alongside 2010 Masters champion Phil Mickelson come Tournament's end.

It was a frustrating day for Campbell as he double-bogeyed the 2nd hole to see his overnight lead turn into a two shot deficit to Matsuyama. Campbell recovered well with birdies at holes 3, 7 and 8 that kept him in contention, yet experiences with the putter cost the Kiwi the title.

"I didn't find it easy," said Campbell regarding his final round.

"I couldn't seem to putt it in a line where I wanted it to. I made a bit of a run coming in and had a good putt on 16, but overall it wasn't too bad."

Considering injury has plagued the world number 13 for the later part of this season, overall Campbell was pleased with his recent run of results, which included making the cut and finishing T-40th at last week's Asia Pacific Open in Japan.

"If someone said I'd finish third at the start of the week I'd be pretty happy but it was a bit of a disappointment I suppose. It was not where I wanted to finish after a good run over the last few days but that's the way these things go."

Cameron Smith was the best of the Australians finishing at 15-under-par following rounds of 68-69-69-67 to be in 4th position, one behind Campbell. This was an impressive tournament for Smith with the Australian Amateur Stroke champion entering the week with a world ranking of 30, to leave for the first time inside the top-20 at 19th.

Another young gun, Jake Higginbottom, confirmed why he's considered a star of the future closing with a 7-under-par, 65, after earlier rounds f68-72-72 to finish in 6th position at 11-under-par.

Winning back to back wins with the Queensland Amateur and Keperra Bowl reflects Higginbottom's emergence of one of our main amateur talents to recently appear on the main amateur scene along with Smith.

Higginbotton is a holder of both the New South Wales and Queensland Amateur crowns as well as an international title, the 2010 China Amateur Open. This impressive list doesn't even include the considerable success the current world number 26 achieved as a junior.

This week in Singapore was illustrative of both Smith's and Higginbottom's talents.

They are two names to follow and we rest hopes on them towards regaining the lost ground Australia has forgone over the last two years in international amateur golf, with the obvious exception being Bryden Macpherson's stellar victory at this year's British Amateur.

As for the remaining Australians, Matt Stieger started the third round in a tie for 10th position after rounds of 70-72-69 only to close with a 72 to finish in a tie for 14th position at 5-under-par.

Luke Humphries finished at 1-under-par with rounds of 75-69-73-70 and in 23rd position. Matt Smith finished in a tie for 43rd position at plus-6.

Final scores are available at "www.aacgolf.com":https://www.aacgolf.com

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