As was the case when he pipped Drysdale in a five-hole play-off in Doha, the 36-year-old from Extremadura displayed a brilliant short game in the closing circuit at Muthaiga Golf Club to land a two-shot success and a third career triumph.
Campillo, who signed off with a polished 66 to finish with an 18-under-par total, joined the great Seve Ballesteros, who won in 1978, in landing this particular prize, as well as two other Spaniards after Jose Maria Canizares and Jordi Garcia Pinto also triumphed in 1984 and 2013 respectively.
“It’s always nice to win,” said Campillo who, holding a three-shot lead, took a 5-iron off the tee at the par-5 18th to make sure he avoided any unnecessary stress as he finished ahead of second-placed Masahiro Kawamura from Japan. "But, when you have your name on the same trophy as Seve, it’s obviously more special for us Spaniards.”
On a day when nothing really happened for him as he shaved the edge of the hole almost from start to finish, Bob MacIntyre had to settle for a share of seventh spot on 13-under, one ahead of both Grant Forrest and Craig Howie, with Calum Hill a further shot back as four Scots finished in the top 20.
MacIntyre, who started the day as Campillo’s closest challenger just one behind, had played brilliantly in carding successive 65s, but he quickly found himself on the back foot in the closing circuit. A tugged tee shot into trees led to a bogey at the third before he was then unable to birdie the par-5 fourth, slapping his thigh in frustration as that opportunity was squandered.
Campillo missed a great birdie chance at the third but, displaying a brilliant short game, he quickly put that disappointment out of his mind with a telling thrust by covering the next five holes in four-under. One of those birdies was a lucky one as his tee shot at the eighth hit a tree on the right and bounced back into the middle of the fairway, allowing him to send his second to three feet.
MacIntyre rolled in an 18-footer for a birdie-2 at the fifth, but, disappointingly, that was his sole gain on the outward half and, heading for home, the Scot found himself trailing by five shots.
By that point, Kawamura had become Campillo’s main challenger, having produced a brilliant display of shot-making to go out in three-under but, even then, he found himself trailing by three strokes.
Despite another huge drive at the par-5 tenth, MacIntyre was unable to match his eagle there on Saturday before burning the edge of the hole with a birdie attempt at the short 11th. He was in the trees off the tee at the next but, to the delight of the local fans, conjured up a magical recovery before sinking to his knees as his chip for birdie somehow stayed out.
That was all the more frustrating after Campillo had missed a short one to drop his first shot of the day at the 11th, which meant that his lead over Kawamura was down to just two shots.
It became three again when the Japanese player three-putted from long range at the 13th and, though he made amends for that with a lovely approach to birdie the par-4 15th, Campillo wasn’t going to be denied after the leader gave himself some breathing space once more with his sixth birdie of the day - and this one from close range - at the 17th.
Forrest, who had birdied two of his last three holes on Friday to make the cut, followed his 67 on Saturday with a closing 65, which included a birdie-eagle-birdie-birdie-birdie burst around the turn and a birdie-birdie finish.
“Yeah, it was good,” said the 2021 Hero Open winner of his weekend’s work. “I’ve had food poisoning, so it’s been a long week since Thursday night, which was awful. It’s been a bit of a battle trying to keep energy up and obviously delighted with my finish.
“I got on a bit of a hot run today before having a couple of unfortunate bogeys towards the end then a couple of good eagle opportunities on the last two, with the one on 18 just sneaking by after missing the one on 17.”
After struggling a bit last season, Forrest has now chalked up four top-15 finishes in his first six starts in 2023. “Another good result,” added the 29-year-old. “It’s tricky. You need to be patient around here. It’s fiddly. If you are not in position, it’s so tough. But, at the same time, if you hit it well off the tee like I did today, then you have so many chances.
“I was kind of battling to make the cut on Friday and a ten-under-par weekend is always good. I can go home and rest up with my head held high.”
After starting with a bogey, Howie recovered to make six birdies as he signed off with a 67, making the most of his first opportunity on the main tour in 2023 after playing on the Challenge Tour in recent weeks.
Hill, who closed with a 66 that contained seven birdies, had also battled with health issues. “Yesterday, I had a bit of a stomach problem,” he reported. “I didn’t feel well and it was just a battle to get round and so did James (his caddie). Today, after getting a bunch of pills from the doctor and eating non-troublesome food, I felt a lot better and managed to shoot a good score, which was nice."