Date: November 15, 2007

Birdie blitz catapults Campbell

Six birdies have guided Australian Chris Campbell into a share of fourth place after the opening round at the Dunlop Phoenix tournament in Japan. Campbell, 31, mixed his six birdies with a pair of bogeys in a four-under-par round of 66 at Phoenix Country Club to be the best-placed Australian after 18 holes. He trails Englishman Ian Poulter, who produced a near flawless performance, and Japan&aposs Muto Toshinori and South Korean Kyung-Tae Kim by one shot. Campbell&aposs countryman Brendan Jones and Kiwi star David Smail both shot rounds of 69 to be in contention at the quarter-mark of the event. Of the remaining Australians, Paul Sheehan is even with the card while Wayne Perske and veteran Craig Parry both fired 71. Steve Conran found the going a little tougher with a 73 to start his week. Englishman Poulter, part of a strong international contingent, carded five birdies for a five-under-par 65 in benign conditions. Defending champion Padraig Harrington eagled his first hole, the par-four 10th, but could not take full advantage of his great start – shooting a two-under 68. “Starting with an eagle, I felt I could have done better,” he said. “At times I was trying a little too hard, trying to birdie every hole. “I feel good about my game. I just need to stay a little more patient than today. It was a little erratic.”