The stage is set, and the question on everyone’s lips is: Can anyone catch Chris?
Chris Campbell, who made a return to amateur golf after sitting out of the sport for three years, holds a five-shot lead with just one round remaining in the Srixon Mid-Amateur Championship at Shoalhaven Heads Golf Club.
Chasing him will be the evergreen Mark Hale of Mudgee, and the impressive Colin Mitchell from the Links Shell Cove.
Playing alongside Campbell in the morning flight, Hale vaulted himself up the leaderboard with a course record 65 to at least give himself a sniff of victory.
Mitchell, who was two shots adrift of Campbell overnight, couldn’t make any headway on the lead and eventually signed for a 71.
Local hope, Mark Johnston, lies in fourth another shot back.
The storyline, however, lies with Campbell.
For those who ever dreamed of pursuing the dream of professional golf, Campbell had it all: A win on the Japanese Tour and an appearance in the 2005 Open Championship at the Home of Golf, St. Andrews looked to many like the entree of what could’ve been a long and prosperous career.
Fast – forward to 2019 and Campbell is – for all intents – back at where it all began, playing amateur golf, for little more than the joy of the game and the rivalry of the competition.
“I’m not practising, and you can’t compete against the top pros if your not, and you can’t make money,”
“The options for me were playing amateur golf against scratch golfers, or the odd pro-am with guys on 27 and on courses that aren’t in nearly as good a condition like this.
“It was a pretty easy decision,” Campbell explained.
“I would rather play with single figure markers on good golf courses set up well.”
Campbell was quick to stress merely enjoying the game is what his return to the amateur ranks is all about.
“My goal is to come away from it, saying I enjoyed the experience.
“I don’t care if I come 10th unless I came 10th and I didn’t enjoy the experience.
“My goal is to have a good frame of mind, the right attitude, and enjoy it.
“I don’t care what happens,” Campbell said.
Chris Campbell, Mark Hale, Colin Mitchell and Mark Johnston will be the in the final group hitting off from the first tee at 12.16pm.
Adele Douglas will be looking for her first major crown when she takes a three-shot lead into the final round of the women’s division of the NSW Mid-Amateur.
Douglas, a relative late-comer to the sport, carded an impressive course record 74 in perfect morning conditions to stamp her authority over the field.
Playing alongside her tomorrow are former champions Jan Crichton and Gemma Dooley, with scratch marker Lucie Quilliam of Moore Park.
The final group of the Women’s Divison will also go from the first tee at 12.15. The men’s and women’s champions expected to be crowned by 5.00pm.