Nikki Campbell rings the changes in preparation for British Open

Nikki Campbell is taking a fresh approach into the British Open. Photo: SMP ImagesNikki Campbell has tweaked her ball, her clubs and her training regime, and is in some of her best form in recent years for the start of the British Open on Thursday.

Campbell finished second at the Ladies European Masters in England last Sunday, the result putting her in second place on the European Tour money list and rocketing her back into the top-100 in the world, up 21 places to 95.

It’s a way off her best ranking of 35, but the Royal Canberra golfer is hoping for a personal best at Royal Birkdale this week.

“I’ve never made the cut in a British Open, so that’d obviously be great,” she said.

“The US Open [last month] was the first major cut I’ve made … it’s different golf, majors, so I just want to keep getting better each time.”

After a practice round on Monday, Campbell said the coastal course just north of Liverpool could present some headaches for the field.

“It’s very tough, if you are off-line it’s really brutal, it’s chip out sideways, so it’s going to be very hard. If it blows, I think anything under par is going to be pretty good.”

Campbell joined the European Tour last year after a decade playing in Japan, but admits she “didn’t play very well last year.”

She subsequently switched her ball from a Titleist Pro V1x to a Pro V1, upgraded her Ping clubs to the i25s, and is “going to the gym more”.

“It’s nice to be in contention again in tournaments,” she said. “I don’t really want to play golf if I’m not able to compete, if I’m just making up numbers it doesn’t really interest me that much.”

While she said the European Tour is “a lot of fun,” there are downsides to the move from Japan.

“Financially it’s not as good; I don’t have any sponsorship at the moment, so it’s tough to pay costs and things, but last week helped a bit.”

Campbell will be one of nine Australians chasing the British Open’s prize purse of $US3 million ($3.2 million). Karrie Webb will lead the charge, with Sarah-Jane Smith, Sarah Kemp, Stacey Keating, Stephanie Na, Bree Arthur and amateurs Minjee Lee and Su-Hyun Oh also in the field.

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