The quiet Texan didn't hitch his pants, wink at the gallery and
swing from the heels. He didn't sling his visor into the gallery
when the final putt dropped.
Still, his Sunday charge at the Bay Hill Invitational did Arnie
"I never counted him out," Palmer said.
Campbell rallied from a four-shot deficit with 11 holes to play,
closing with a 6-under 66 that was so flawless that he had a birdie
putt on every hole.
"Playing with Mr. Palmer the first two rounds, and being able
to be out on the 18th green with him after it's done was quite
special," Campbell said.
It was a fiasco for Stuart Appleby, on the short end of a
10-shot swing over the final 11 holes. He finished with a double
bogey for a 76 and wound up six shots behind.
Ditto for John Daly, whose bid to qualify for The Masters took a
small hit with a wild finish -- double bogey, eagle, bogey, triple
bogey -- that knocked him from a tie for third into a tie for 10th.
As for Tiger Woods?
He was trying to become the first player to win the same event
five straight times, but left Bay Hill with a different record --
the first time in a regular PGA Tour event that he shot over par
three days in a row. Woods closed with a 73 and tied for 46th, his
worst finish in five years.
Campbell won for the second time with the kind of golf that
shows why he's one of the rising stars in golf. He finished at
18-under 270 and earned $900,000.
"Looking back now, I can't even think of a poor shot he hit in
two days," Appleby said. "Great golf."
Without Woods going for a fifth straight title, Bay Hill was
missing some of its buzz. That changed with Campbell's incredible
charge, and the theatrics of Daly.
Campbell put pressure on Appleby with back-to-back birdies to
close out the front nine, then was rock-solid the rest of the way
as the Aussie eventually self-destructed.
Daly made more memories at Bay Hill. The guy who once made an 18
on the par-5 sixth hole, and shot 87 a few years later, was poised
to finish third until he hit out-of-bounds into a TV compound,
recovered with an eagle, that let that get away by hitting a drive
off a TV truck and then into the water.
"There's not many guys who could make five doubles and a triple
and still finish in the top 10," Daly said, although his math was
a little off -- he only made four double bogeys and a triple bogey
Still, it was costly. A tie for third would have moved him well
into the top 50 and secured a tee time at Augusta National. He
still is No. 9 on the PGA Tour money list, and the top 10 after
next week get into The Masters.
Campbell already is in The Masters, and might be considered
among the favorites.
He won for the second time in his last 10 starts -- he also won
the season-ending Tour Championship, giving him two victories
against strong fields.
His performance was so sterling Sunday that Campbell never had
to chip. He missed only four greens, but was on the fringe and
still putting for birdie.
"I really didn't have nothing to lose," Campbell said. "I was
just trying to hit at every pin. My ball-striking was good enough
that I could do that."
Woods hit into the water on No. 6 -- his fourth straight day with
a penalty shot -- and had his worst finish since a tie for 56th in
the 1999 Bay Hill Invitational, the year before his streak began.
"I feel like having a nice little beer right now, and I should
be fine," Woods said.
Appleby's game looked solid, and he even had some luck on his
side, as he kept his lead at four shots and threatened to turn Bay
Hill into a runaway.
Despite a comfortable margin, the Aussie boldly went for the
green in two on the par-5 sixth. It bounced off to the right and
was headed for trouble when it ricocheted off a woman's head,
dropping on an upslope and leaving Appleby a relatively harmless
chip. He got up-and-down for birdie, his lead back to four.
Two holes later, a nice walk on a beautiful day in Florida
turned into a grind.
Campbell stuffed his approach into 10 feet for birdie on No. 8
to make up one shot, and a two-shot swing on the next hole really
turned up the pressure.
Both players were in the trees. Campbell, from the left side,
punched out and watched his ball roll up the fairway to 30 feet
from the cup, which he poured in for birdie.
"Just chipped a 5-iron and got it running," he said. "It
ended up working out perfectly."
From the right side, Appleby hit into the bunker and made bogey.
"The tide really started to move," Appleby said.
Appleby lost his lead on the 11th when he went bunker-to-bunker
for another bogey, then fell behind for the first time in 27 holes
when he three-putted the par-3 14th. And when Campbell holed his
birdie putt on the next hole, he suddenly had a two-shot lead with
three holes to play.
Divots: Campbell became the first player to come from behind at
Bay Hill since Phil Mickelson won in 1997. Appleby also finished
second that year. ... Vijay Singh shot 76 and has not finished in
the top 10 since his streak ended at 12 at Torrey Pines. Singh's
cause was hurt by a 9 on the par-5 sixth hole, where he hit two
balls into the water and three-putted. ... Daly, best known at Bay
Hill for the 18 he took on No. 6 in 1998, birdied the hole all four
rounds. ... Woods has had only five worse finishes than a tie for
46th, all of them between 1996-99. ... In Campbell's two PGA Tour
victories, Bay Hill and the Tour Championship, Woods finished 18
shots behind. ... Charles Howell III has shot 71 his last six
rounds at Bay Hill. ... Prince Andrew will attend The Masters. Augusta National is named for Augusta of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg -- an 18th century relative of Andrew, the Duke of York. Prince Andrew is captain of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews.