Joe Campbell's Final Words

By Big BreakOctober 21, 2011, 7:15 pm


Wow, Big Break Ireland was such an unbelievable experience. The physical, mental and emotional strain is like nothing I expected.  With such long hours and extreme pressure it was a fantastic test of one’s mental ability. I had a truly fantastic time and will take the experience and friendships throughout my life.

So finally I had my chance to be captain, and I was super excited. $5,000 is a lot of money to me, and I felt it was going to be a great day.  I would have preferred to be captain earlier in the show, when there were more players on each team to choose from, but the tee just wouldn’t point my way. Fate had it that I was the last captain. The morning of, I felt great, energetic and ready to go. I had full confidence in my team as we had won the last three challenges and we had bonded well.

It is always hard playing on a team as sometimes you can’t influence the result which affects you so greatly, but this is what makes it so exciting. You need some luck to go far in this format. The challenges were fair and exciting and I wanted to go last as I thought I was going to be the one to win it for team Straffen; this though, didn’t go quite to plan. My team played great, with Jules hitting a great chip and Nicole answering Andy’s great shot.  During this time, I was a little nervous but enjoying the intensity of the situation.  On this occasion Nina just hit a bad shot at the wrong time, there was no blame what so ever, as she had stepped up big for team Straffen in previous challenges.

I knew I needed an Eagle and was praying I picked hole 18 out of the bag. Unfortunately I drew 17, a hard par 4, and I needed to make an eagle just to tie. I stood on the tee and hit it as hard as I could, trying to get as close to the green as possible. Soon as I struck it I knew it was left in the water. I wasn’t disheartened as I stuck to my guns and didn’t hold anything back; I just hadn’t hit a shot for about three hours and was out of sync.  This is what is so hard about Big Break, you have hours between shots thus one can’t get any rhythm, one bad shot can cost you everything, so this makes the pressure more intense.

People will wonder why I chose Jules, my good friend and teammate, to go against in the elimination. It’s like Ricky Bobby would say, “If you’re not first your last”. To me there is no difference between going out first, and losing in the final, you still lost. I thought Jules was the strongest player, and I love a gamble. If I had beaten him I would be considered the strongest.  I wasn’t there just to hang about, I wanted to take the bull by the horns and take out a strong player.

The playoff was pressure packed and super exciting. I felt great and knew I was in for a good challenge.  The first three shots were really hard, with the Liffey staring you in the face on every shot, and the wind whistling away.  I was one up going into the final challenge, a hole of golf. This was the first hole I had played in weeks. It was a Par Five so I thought it favored me and I wanted to get there in two. Again, a bad swing at the wrong time and it cost me heavily. I’m glad I went down fighting as this is the way I play, and I couldn’t have lost to a nicer bloke.

I’m currently working hard to save up money to play, and I hope you will see me on Tour soon. I am blessed to have such a great family and an amazing girlfriend, Samantha. They work so hard for me, and support me fully; to me this is far more important than anything. I’m thankful to have had such a great opportunity but more so, to have some new friends for life.

Cheers everyone for your support.


Joe Campbell (AKA: CAMBO X)

Getty Images

Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

"Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

Getty Images

Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

Getty Images

13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

“An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

Getty Images

McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

“I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

“Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.