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Golf Today > Tour Schedules > 2007 > PGA Tour > Viking Classic > Round 4
 

VIKING CLASSIC RELATED STORIES





Chad Campbell clinches narrow victory

After four straight top 30 finishes to start his PGA Tour career and a berth on last year's Ryder Cup team, fellow players and fans started feeling bad for Chad Campbell as he struggled this season before Sunday's win in the Viking Classic.

Over time more people began to pat him on the back and wish him a return to good form. Even the guy who checked his clubs as he started his round at the Turning Stone Resort Championship last weekend.

"He was like encouraging me, and I turned to my caddie and said everybody's pulling for us now," Campbell said. "It was pretty funny. It's great to have support. Even players out here have been supportive, have wanted to help."

Campbell righted his listing game Sunday with a one-stroke victory over Johnson Wagner in the Viking Classic, making two birdies on his last three holes to win.

He was among six golfers who held or were tied for the lead in the final round at Annandale Golf Club. He finished with a 3-under 69 -- the only member of that group under 70 and one of just four who managed a round in the 60s -- to win after trailing two-day leader David Branshaw by three strokes entering the final round. Branshaw was done in by a double bogey.

"It's tough to get rid of bad habits and I think I've gotten into a lot of bad habits since last year," Campbell said.

Those bad habits led to just 13 rounds under 70 this season, but he gained confidence after a third-round 64 and said he's been working hard to get his game back in shape late this season after a wobbly start that left him 82nd on the money list coming into the Viking Classic.

He had just one top 10 finish, at the World Golf Championship-Accenture Match Play Championship where he was fourth, and four top 25 finishes.

He started soliciting friends for advice and even went back to watch videos of his 2003 Tour Championship win and other successful tournaments to identify what was wrong.

"I don't know what I got into doing," Campbell said. "I just wanted to get back into what I was doing (well), whatever that was. I just asked a couple of guys, 'What am I doing different than I used to do.' They'd throw out ideas, I'd try them and if they didn't work, they didn't work.

The win jumps him over the $1.5 million mark this year, but he's still short of his goal.

The Colleyville, Texas, resident would like to finish in the top 30 as he has in each of his previous four seasons on tour, but needs more than $400,000 in his final two tournaments to reach that goal.

Campbell first took the lead Sunday with back-to-back birdies on Nos. 10 and 11. He made a 22-foot putt on the par-4 10th, then hit to within 3 feet on the par-5 11th to move to 13 under. He briefly reached 14 under on the 17th hole, but bogeyed 18.

The win was his 15th top-three performance since joining the tour, but his first top 50 finish since the Travelers Championship on June 24. He thinks the win at Annandale may be the start of a turnaround.

"I think it's the first step," he said. "There's still a lot of work. I still hit quite a few bad shots out there."

Wagner, a PGA Tour rookie seeking his first win, briefly held the lead but dropped out of contention when he made bogey on the 17th hole. He birdied 18 to take second alone at 12 under, however, and his $378,000 paycheck should earn him his tour card next season.

Campbell, now a four-time tour winner, earned $630,000 of the $3.5 million purse.

Bill Haas, who was second coming into the final round, finished tied for third at 11 under with Boo Weekley, who shot 70.

Branshaw finished tied for fifth after a 2-over 74 left him at 10 under with Shaun Micheel and John Senden. He had three bogeys in the final round after making just one through the first 54 holes. Sunday marked the first time he held the lead entering the final round of the tournament.

The tournament wasn't decided until the final two holes. Micheel trailed Campbell by a stroke at 12 under, but a double bogey after hitting water on 17 dropped him off the lead.

Three others tied for eighth at 9 under.

Wagner, who earned his card by finishing second on the Nationwide Tour money list last year, suffered through a terrible drought midway through the season.

After his best career finish, tied for ninth at the Shell Houston Open where he set the third-day tournament record with a 64, Johnson struggled through a string of 13 missed cuts in 14 appearances, including nine straight.

He said confidence has helped him turn his game around.

"That's all it ever is with me," Wagner said. "I finally started believing that I deserve to be out here and I'm playing like it, so it's nice."

 

 




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