Thrilled, proud, overjoyed cannot begin to describe the feelings of the people of New Zealand who quickly named this New Zealands greatest sporting achievement after watching the Open. New Zealands government even delayed the start of its Cabinet meeting to watch Campbell win. He now joins Bob Charles, the 1963 British Open Champ as the only other Kiwi to win a Major.
Campbells road to success has been plagued the past 10 years with injuries and near misses. In 1995 he came close to winning the British Open, but ended the tournament finishing 3rd. Since that time he has been toiling away on the European Tour while living with his family in England. His opportunity at the Open arose when the USGA decided to run a qualifier for 9 spots in England.
Not only is Campbell the first Kiwi to win the U.S. Open, but he is also the first Maori to win a national golf tournament. In a nod to his cultural heritage Campbell wears shirts from a clothing line he started, Cambo Line that uses the designs of the Maori people whose intricate tattooing came from their unique wood carving techniques.
Wearing a shirt Sunday with the Maori symbol Kikikaha, meaning inner strength on the back, Michael Campbell showed the world what perseverance really is by becoming the 2005 U.S. Open Champion.