Campbells Decision - Europe It Is

By George WhiteJuly 5, 2005, 4:00 pm
The conventional wisdom the last few years has been this: foreign-born golfer wins major; foreign-born golfer takes about half an hour to decide to join the U.S. tour, thanks to his newly found earnings on the American tour; foreign-born golfer jumps right into the PGA Tour the beginning of the next season, to varying degrees of success.
 
Enter Michael Campbell. Michael has upset the whole process, it seems. Michael was born in New Zealand, lives now in England, plays primarily on the European Tour ' and has no intentions of leaving, thank you very much.
 
Michael Campbell
Michael Campbell will stick with the European Tour even after his emotional win at the U.S. Open.
Campbell, of course, was the gent who won the recent U.S Open. He was most appreciative of the money, humble in victory, polite as any Kiwi could possibly be while winning the event. But then he shook the rafters when he revealed that, while he certainly meant no harm to the host country, he would stay right where he is ' thank you.
 
Perhaps, he was saying, it would be different if this were three or four years ago. Back then, America was his dream, as it is most professional golfers. But now, hes married. He has two little sons -Thomas, born in 1998, and Jordan, born in 2000. Hes waist-deep in the intricacies of raising his family, and he and wife Julie have decided in the last couple of years to raise them in England. End of story.
 
The reason why isn't Michael Campbell coming to America? said Michael Campbell. I said I'm happy the way things are right now and the way my whole career is panning out. Why change things?
 
He has already tried the U.S., anyway. In 2002 he finished second at Bay Hill and jumped at the chance for tour membership. His $432,000 of Bay Hill money allowed him to take advantage of special temporary membership ' his earnings for the year was $614,259, more than No. 125s $515,445. Incidentally, he chipped in on the final hole at Bay Hill to finish second.
 
So he came to America with the brood ' wife and two infant sons in tow. He played in the U.S. for 12 straight weeks with that menagerie, living out of hotel rooms for all three months. He did miserably on the course, and his wife and babies did little more than just exist under the constantly changing conditions. He stood it as long as he could, then he went back to the European Tour, taking the family back to their own bedroom. That was the end of that experiment.
 
Now, hes not really tempted. A Kiwi with a Kiwi wife and children who were born in England, he just sees too many pitfalls ahead to try and change everyone again.
 
Its human nature to go over there and play full time in America, he explained, but it's not for me. My roots are here. I've been here for 12 years and I just enjoy being here and playing the European Tour.
 
And hopefully it's going to help guys like - you know, Darren Clarke and (Lee) Westwood and (Ian) Poulter and (Padraig) Harrington, (Colin) Montgomerie, (Paul) McGinley, (Graeme) McDowell - all of these great players who have won multiple times around the world to realize that if I can do it
 
In the final analysis, Campbell looked at the potential for vast earnings in the U.S. - or merely comfortable earnings in Europe. And he decided to go for the comfortable, with the young familys future at stake.
 
For Campbell, its an easy choice. And, after all, uprooting the family from England across the Atlantic to America isnt like moving from London to Liverpool. Its a life-influencing factor for the children, even more so than for him and Julie.
 
And, he believes hell settle down and play alongside Woosnam and Montgomerie, McGinley and McDowell.
 
These guys have seen me play for the last 12 years on this tour, he said. They have seen me miss cuts, lose my card, win golf tournaments and I have seen them do the same. We are all close.
 
There's a fine line between winning tournaments and winning majors. When you do win your first major, you think to yourself, it's a lot of hard work, but these guys are very close, too.
 
And so, he stays. Hell be back for the majors, for all the big tournaments. But as far as playing a circuit ' Michael Campbell has decided to remain with the family.
 
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Kelly, Sauers co-lead in Hawaii; Monty, Couples in mix

By Associated PressJanuary 19, 2018, 3:52 am

KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii - Fresh off a solid performance on Oahu, Jerry Kelly shot an 8-under 64 on the Big Island on Thursday to share the first-round lead at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship, the season opener on the PGA Tour Champions.

The 51-year-old Kelly, who tied for 14th at the PGA Tour's Sony Open last week in Honolulu, birdied five of his final seven holes to shoot 30 on the back nine at Hualalai. He won twice last season, his first on the over-50 tour.

Gene Sauers also shot 64, going bogey-free amid calm conditions. Thirty-two of the 44 players broke par in the limited-field event, which includes winners from last season, past champions of the event, major champions and Hall of Famers.

Rocco Mediate and Colin Montgomerie were one shot back, and Fred Couples, Kevin Sutherland and Kirk Triplett were another shot behind.

Bernhard Langer, defending the first of his seven 2017 titles, was in the middle of the pack after a 69.

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Rahm (62) fires career low round

By Will GrayJanuary 19, 2018, 12:03 am

The scores were predictably low during the opening round of the CareerBuilder Challenge, where the top-ranked player in the field currently sits atop the standings. Here's how things look after the first day in Palm Springs as Jon Rahm is out to an early advantage:

Leaderboard: Jon Rahm (-10), Austin Cook (-9), Andrew Landry (-9), Jason Kokrak (-9), Brandon Harkins (-8), Martin Piller (-8), Aaron Wise (-8), Beau Hossler (-8)

What it means: Rahm is coming off a runner-up finish two weeks ago at Kapalua, and he picked up right where he left off with a 10-under 62 at La Quinta Country Club. It marked his lowest career round on the PGA Tour, and it gave him a one-shot lead heading to the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Cook is the only player within two shots of Rahm who has won already on Tour.

Round of the day: Rahm got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under, and he made it around La Quinta without dropping a shot. The 62 bettered his previous career low on Tour by two shots and it included an eagle on the par-5 fifth hole to go along with eight birdies.

Best of the rest: Cook was a winner earlier this season at the RSM Classic, and he's now in the mix for trophy No. 2 following a 9-under 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course. Like Rahm, he opened with a seven-hole stretch at 6 under and turned in a scorecard without a bogey. He'll now head to the more difficult Stadium Course for his second round.

Biggest disappointment: Patrick Reed blitzed the three-course rotation in Palm Springs en route to his first career Tour title back in 2014, but he's unlikely to repeat that feat after opening with a 2-over 74 on the Nicklaus Tournament course. Reed made only one birdie against three bogeys and was one of only 32 players in the 156-man field who failed to break par in the opening round.

Main storyline heading into Friday: Rahm deserves the spotlight, as he entered the week as one of the event's headliners and did nothing to lose that billing in the opening round. But the pack of contenders is sure to keep pace, while players like Phil Mickelson (-2) will look to put up a low score in order to build some momentum heading into the weekend.

Shot of the day: Wesley Bryan's 7-under 65 on the Nicklaus Tournament course was helped in large part by an eagle on the par-4 10th, where he holed a 54-degree wedge from 112 yards away. Bryan went on to birdie the next hole amid a five-hole stretch of 5 under play.

Quote of the day: "Shot 10 under par. There's not much more I can ask for." - Rahm

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Recent winner Cook contending at CareerBuilder

By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 11:45 pm

Patton Kizzire is currently the only two-time PGA Tour winner this season, but Austin Cook hopes to join him this week at the CareerBuilder Challenge.

Cook won for the first time in November at the RSM Classic, a victory that catapaulted him from the Web.com Tour graduate category into an entirely new echelon. Cook notched a pair of top-25 finishes over the last two weeks in Hawaii, and he's again in the mix after an opening 63 on the Nicklaus Tournament Course left him one shot behind Jon Rahm.

"Today was great," Cook told reporters. "The conditions were perfect, but I always loved desert golf and I was just hitting the ball well and seeing good lines on the greens and hitting good putts."

Cook got off to a fast start, playing his first seven holes in 6 under highlighted by an eagle on the par-5 fourth hole. He briefly entertained the notion of a sub-60 round after birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 before closing with six pars and a birdie.


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Cook was a relative unknown before his victory at Sea Island earlier this season, but now with the flexibility and confidence afforded by a win he hopes to build on his burgeoning momentum this week in California.

"That was a big, proud moment for myself, knowing that I can finish a tournament," Cook said. "I think it was one of those things that I've proven to myself that now I can do it, and it just meant the world to me."

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Photo: Fleetwood's phone cover is picture of Bjorn

By Jason CrookJanuary 18, 2018, 11:40 pm

There's phone covers and then there are Phone Covers.

Paul Casey has himself a Phone Cover, showing off the protective case that features a picture of his wife at last year's U.S. Open.

Now, it appears, Tommy Fleetwood has joined the movement.

Fleetwood, last year's season-long Race to Dubai winner, has a phone cover with a picture of Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn on it. And not even a current Thomas Bjorn. This is a young Bjorn. A hair-having Bjorn.

@tommyfleetwood_1

A post shared by Alex Noren (@alexnoren1) on

The 26-year-old is a virtual lock for this year's European Ryder Cup team, but just in case, he's carrying around a phone with a picture of the team captain attached to the back of it.

It's a bold strategy, Cotton. Let's see if it pays off for him.