New Zealand’s Ben Campbell swept aside his closest rivals by firing a six-under-par 66 to surge to the top of the leaderboard with a four-shot cushion after the second round of the Fiji International presented by Fiji Airways on Friday.
Campbell held a share of the overnight lead after opening with a 67 at the Natadola Bay Championship Golf Course but showed his intent of breaking clear of the tight leaderboard when he charged towards the turn in 33 with three birdies.
He then moved further ahead by snaring four more birdies on holes 11, 12, 14 and 17 before dropping his only shot of the day on 18 for a two-day total of 11-under-par 133.
“I just feel a lot more comfortable out here,” Campbell said. “There's obviously a long way to go there. But winning any event would help in some way, whether it's get your status or secure status or get you into other events and things like that. But yeah, obviously I think the easy part is done, it's the tough part now to keep going.”
Andrew Dodt, who also opened with a 67 to share pole position after the first round, lost his advantage as he could only settle for a 70 to take second place.
“I didn't make a birdie on the back nine, which is a bit frustrating considering that the wind completely dropped and scoring was there to take advantage of,” Dodt said. “But I'm still in a good position and excited for the weekend.”
China’s Wu Ashun meanwhile overcame his early tournament jitters by making his move with a 69 – which was highlighted by an eagle three on 17 to stay six shots back of Campbell in tied-fifth place.
India’s Gaganjeet Bhullar made his Fijian debut count with another assured performance by signing for a 69 to share fifth place with Wu as well as the Australian trio of Nicholas Cullen, Steven Jeffress, Jake McLeod and New Zealand’s Nick Voke and Harry Bateman.