Golf: Michael Campbell makes cut on European Tour as Lydia Ko makes strong return on LPGA Tour

Michael Campbell has made the cut on the European Tour for the first time since 2013.

The Kiwi golfing great has continued his surprising return to competitive play, making the cut on the number at the Hero Open In Birmingham.

Campbell carded consecutive rounds of 71 to sit at two-under par, just squeaking inside the cut line to ensure he’d play the weekend for the first time on Tour since he finished tied for 24th at the Russian Open In July 2013.

The 51-year-old former US Open winner improved on his performance last week at the British Masters, where he flirted with the top of the leaderboard with a self-proclaimed “completely flabbergasting” three-under 68, only to implode with an nine-over 80 In the second round.

This time, Campbell found his consistency, though it was a mixed second round, carding five birdies and four bogies before eventually settling just inside the cut.

Fellow Kiwi Ryan Fox also made the cut on the number, following his two-under 70 with an even par 72 this morning to make the weekend, though the pair are 11 shots off the lead shared by England’s Sam Horsfield and Spain’s Sebastian Garcia Rodriguez.

Also making a strong return was Lydia Ko on the LPGA Tour. The former World No 1 was playing In just her second event this year, and first since February, but carded a three-under par 69 In the opening round of the LPGA Tour’s Drive On Championship – the first event since the Tour was suspended due to Covid-19.

It was also Ko’s first event since cutting ties with swing coach Jorge Parada, with the 23-year-old now working with Sean Foley, and her first round showed promising signs, with four birdies and just one bogey as she settled into a share of fifth place, three shots behind leader Danielle Kang.

Elsewhere, Kiwi veteran Steven Alker has lost his overnight lead at the Pinnacle Bank Championship on the second-tier Korn Ferry Tour In the United States.

Alker’s first-round five-under 66 had him atop the leaderboard, but the 74 that followed this morning saw him drop to a share of 30th, at two-under.

However, fellow Kiwi Nick Voke fared better, rocketing up the leaderboard. Voke shot a five-under round to move to six-under for the tournament, In tied third, two shots off the lead.