Campbell A Champion Ten Years Later

By Associated PressJuly 13, 2005, 4:00 pm
ST. ANDREWS, Scotland -- Michael Campbell stood on the first tee of the Old Course, suddenly overwhelmed by the prospect of being just 18 holes from a life-changing victory at the birthplace of golf.
 
His legs shook. His hands quivered. His mind raced.
 
I had no idea what I was doing, to be honest, Campbell is willing to admit now, a decade later.
 
Come Sunday, if he finds himself in a similar position going to the final round of the British Open, expect a much different reaction.
 
Im a serious player now, Campbell said. I proved to myself that I can do it. Thats more important than anything else in the world. I know that if I can get to the same situation, I can probably handle it quite well.
 
Campbell is walking like a champion these days, just three weeks removed from a victory at the U.S. Open and 10 years down the road from his first flirtation with greatness, at St. Andrews of all places.
 
Back then, he was only 26 and virtually unknown outside of his native New Zealand. But Campbell took a two-stroke lead to the final round of the 1995 British Open, his confidence soaring after one of the most brilliant rounds in the tournaments long history on the penultimate day.
 
In howling winds that reduced most of the worlds best players to mere hackers, Campbell somehow managed a bogey-free round of 65, highlighted by an improbable escape from the dreaded Road Bunker alongside the 17th green'golfs version of Alcatraz.
 
Campbell hit a shot virtually straight up, the ball defying all laws of physics as it skimmed the face of the cavernous pit, stayed above the lip and rolled to a stop just 18 inches from the hole. He spread his arms wide, tipped his cap to the roaring gallery and stepped up for his par-saving tap-in.
 
Unfortunately for Campbell, it was only Saturday.
 
When he returned the following afternoon, the certainty in his game was gone. The ominous signs of a meltdown were apparent from the very first swing.
 
I nearly missed the fairway, he recalled Tuesday. Its like a hundred yards wide and I almost missed it. My mind was racing a lot. I had no way to calm my nerves down. I had a lot of consequences on myself. I thought about the consequences.
 
I was too young. I wasnt ready to win.
 
Campbell struggled that final day to a 4-over 76, one stroke behind John Daly and Costantino Rocca, the memory of that thrilling ride 24 hours earlier swept away as if caught in one of the North Seas towering waves.
 
The co-leaders went on a playoff won by Daly, while Campbells meteoric rise to the ranks of star-in-the-making would be eclipsed by a more spectacular fall.
 
A couple of years later, plagued by injuries, mired in a streak of missed cuts, and coming off two rounds in the 80s at the French Open, Campbell thought it might be time to give up the game.
 
He had a career to fall back on, having worked for a telephone company before turning pro.
 
I fixed telephones, Campbell said, able to grin now about one of the lowest times in his life.
 
He stuck with golf, his perseverance finally paying off at Pinehurst No. 2 last month.
 
With the games greatest player in his rearview mirror, Campbell produced a virtually flawless round at that toughest of tests, the U.S. Open.
 
More important, he did it on the final day of a major instead of the next-to-last day, holding off Tiger Woods by two strokes and joining the sports most exclusive club.
 
A decade behind schedule, hes finally a major champion. A decade later, he finally feels as if he belongs.
 
Jack Nicklaus sent along a letter of congratulations. So did Arnold Palmer. Greg Norman called. So did the prime minister of New Zealand. A couple of weeks from now, theyll hold a ticker-tape parade in Campbells honor back home.
 
It was worth the wait, Campbell said. A lot of players, caddies, friends of mine and complete strangers come up to me and say, Well done. Its kind of neat to have that respect from my peers. Ive really been enjoying that.
 
While Woods came up short at Pinehurst'a shaky putter the final day doomed his chances'hes still an overwhelming favorite to make it two major wins this year and 10 in his career.
 
Hes emerged from the second major swing change of his career, positioning himself for another remarkable run in the majors.
 
The two processes I went through were huge for me, he said. And trust me, I dont want to do it again because it takes lot of patience, a lot of hard work, countless hours on the range and at home in front of the mirror, trying to get it right. It takes a lot out of you.
 
Woods may not win seven times in 11 tries, as he did a few years ago during a stretch that included his runaway win at the 2000 British Open. But the eye of the Tiger is back, staring directly at Nicklaus record of 18 major championships.
 
Im just in my 20s and Ive won nine, said Woods, still a few months from his 30th birthday. I didnt think I would win this many in my 20s. A golfers prime years arent usually until their 30s.
 
Its going to take me a while. But at least Im heading in the right direction.
 
Largely because of Woods influence, Campbell is headed in the right direction, too.
 
He definitely raised the bar, Campbell said. He made me work harder, thats the bottom line. Made me go to the gym longer, work out harder, practice longer on the range. He definitely made a huge impact on my career.
 
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    Spieth shares Hartford lead; Rory 1 back

    By Golf Channel DigitalJune 21, 2018, 10:35 pm

    Just a few miles north but light years removed from the difficulty of Shinnecock Hills, the PGA Tour returned to week-in, week-out normalcy with the Travelers Championship. Here's what happened in the first round at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Conn.:

    Leaderboard: Zach Johnson (-7), Jordan Spieth (-7), Rory McIlroy (-6), Peter Malnati (-6), Brian Harman (-6)

    What it means: The two biggest names in the field, Spieth and McIlroy, are looking for a boost of confidence after missing the cut in the U.S. Open. Their scores look good, but McIlroy won't be happy about closing with a bogey.

    Round of the day: Johnson and Spieth both put up 7-under 63s. Johnson, after a relatively pedestrian 2-under front nine, caught fire on the back, making six consecutive birdies on holes 11-16. A three-putt bogey at the 17th ended the run, and he parred the last for his 63. Spieth, the defending champion, put up two birdies and an eagle on the front and four more birdies on the back. Like Johnson, he had only one blemish, a bogey-5 on the drivable par-4 15th when he hooked his drive into the water.

    Best of the rest: McIlroy, Malnati and Harman each shot 64. Malnati eagled the 15th and followed that with birdies at 16 and 17 and a back-nine 29. Harman had a rare birdie on the 444-yard 18th for his 64, but McIlroy threw away a shot at the closing hole to fall out of a share of the lead. His right foot slipped as he was hitting his approach shot, and he missed the green. After taking a drop to get away from a sprinkler head, he was unable to get up and down.

    Biggest disappointment: Bubba Watson, a two-time winner of this event, could manage no better than an even-par 70. Two-under through 11 holes, he bogeyed three of the next four.

    Shot of the day: Can we safely say that Spieth likes the bunkers at River Highlands? Last year he got up and down from one at the 18th hole to get into a playoff, then he holed out from the same bunker to win the playoff. On Thursday he worked his magic at the par-5 sixth hole, sinking his sand shot for eagle.

    Biggest storyline going into Friday: Most eyes will be on Spieth and McIlroy, to see if they're over they're U.S. Open funks and gearing up for The Open Championship.

    NBC Sports Group to Showcase Top Players in Women's Golf With Comprehensive Coverage of the KPMG Women's PGA Championship, June 25-July 1

    By Golf Channel Public RelationsJune 21, 2018, 9:35 pm

    Golf Channel and NBC to Combine for More Than 40 Hours of News, Tournament and Instruction On-Site from Kemper Lakes Golf Club, Most in Tournament History 

    KPMG Ambassador Phil Mickelson to Join Golf Central on Monday, June 25 Live from Soldier Field 

    Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani to Headline KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Wednesday, June 27

     

    ORLANDO, Fla., June 21, 2018 – Featuring one of the strongest fields of the year, NBC Sports Group will dedicate more than 40 hours of comprehensive on-site news, tournament and instruction coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – most in tournament history – Monday, June 25 - Sunday, July 1. Taking place at Kemper Lakes Golf Club near Chicago, the third LPGA Tour major of the season will be headlined by World No. 1 Inbee Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn, No. 3 Lexi Thompson, ANA Inspiration champion Pernilla Lindberg and defending champion Danielle Kang. In 2017, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship was the most-watched women’s major championship of the year. 

    Through the partnership with KPMG, the PGA of America and the LPGA Tour, the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship has been elevated to become one of the most impactful weeks of the year in women’s golf,” said Molly Solomon, executive vice president of content, Golf Channel. “As the broadcast partner for the championship, we strive to elevate our coverage each year to celebrate not only the best players in women’s golf but also female leaders in the workplace through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit.” 

    BROADCAST TEAM: Live tournament coverage of the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship will be anchored by Dan Hicks, joined by Paige Mackenzie and Gary Koch in the broadcast booth. Tom Abbott will report from an on-course tower, with Kay Cockerill, Jerry Foltz and Mark Rolfing walking the course. Steve Sands will conduct player interviews. 

    NBC SPORTS GROUP TO IMPLEMENT POPULAR “PLAYING THROUGH” ENCHANCED COMMERCIAL BREAKS: Making its debut on NBC at the Ryder Cup in 2016, Golf Channel and NBC will implement the popular “Playing Through” enhancement in an effort to elevate the viewing experience for fans tuning in to the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. NBC Sports Group is partnering with several national advertisers to present select commercial breaks in utilizing “Playing Through,” which will employ a split-screen model for a select number of national commercial breaks. This enhanced break will display both the commercial with audio as well as a continuous feed of the tournament action. 

    COMPREHENSIVE ON-SITE NEWS COVERAGE: Golf Channel’s signature news programs, Golf Central and Morning Drive, will provide comprehensive, wraparound news coverage throughout the week, produced on-location at Kemper Lakes Golf Club. In addition to daily shows, Golf Central will present special player news conference shows Tuesday and Wednesday, June 26 and 27, at 5 p.m. ET. 

    Rich Lerner will anchor Golf Central’s live coverage alongside LPGA major champion Karen Stupples and Arron Oberholser beginning Wednesday, June 27, with Lisa Cornwell reporting and conducting player interviews. Chantel McCabe will set the stage each day on Morning Drive with on-site interviews and analysis, with Paige Mackenzie joining her Monday-Wednesday. 

    PHIL MICKELSON TO JOIN GOLF CENTRAL LIVE FROM SOLDIER FIELD MONDAY, JUNE 25: Kicking off KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week will be the KPMG Windy City Skills Challenge, taking place at Soldier Field in Chicago on Monday, June 25. KPMG Ambassadors Phil Mickelson and Mariah Stackhouse along with athletes from the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Fire, Red Stars and Skywill be conducting a special clinic and skills challenge event with local youth organizations. Mickelson will join Golf Central live from Soldier Field on Monday following the conclusion of the skills challenge. 

    SCHOOL OF GOLF ON-SITE AT KEMPER LAKES: School of Golf will air Tuesday at 7 p.m. from on-site at Kemper Lakes Golf Club, with Martin Hall and Blair O’Neal hosting a special short-game episode. Scheduled guests include 2018 U.S. Women’s Open champion Ariya Jutanugarn and her coaches, Golf Channel Academy coaches Pia Nilsson and Lynn Marriott, as well as LPGA major champion Morgan Pressel.  

    KPMG WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP SUMMIT: Golf Central will offer news coverage of the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, which will be hosted on-site Wednesday, June 27, featuring an assembly of accomplished leaders in sports, business, politics and media to inspire the next generation of women leaders. 66th Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Olympians Nancy Kerrigan, Hilary Knight and Maia Shibutani will headline the gathering. NBC Sunday Night Football sideline reporter Michele Tafoya will serve as master of ceremonies. The summit will be streamed live on Wednesday on Golf Channel Digital. In addition, portions of the summit also will be streamed via Golf Channel’s Facebook Live. 

    DIGITAL AND SOCIAL MEDIA COVERAGE: Golf Channel Digital will feature expanded editorial content during KPMG Women’s PGA Championship week. GolfChannel.com senior writer Randall Mell will report from Kemper Lakes Golf Club with columns and daily blogs, and Golf Channel social media host Alexandra O’Laughlin will contribute to Golf Channel’s social media platforms with exclusive behind-the-scenes content throughout the week. Golf Channel and NBC also will integrate social media throughout the telecasts, incorporating social media posts from players and fans using the hashtag #KPMGWomensPGA. 

    News and tournament action surrounding the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship can be accessed at any time on any mobile device and online via Golf Channel Digital. Fans also can stream NBC Sports’ coverage of live golf via NBC Sports.com and the NBC Sports app.

     GOLF CHANNEL / NBC LIVE TOURNAMENT AIRTIMES(all times Eastern):

    Thursday, June 28

    Round 1

    11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Golf Channel

    Friday, June 29

    Round 2

    11 a.m.-3 p.m.

    Golf Channel

    Saturday, July 30

    Round 3

    3-6 p.m.

    NBC

    Sunday, July 1

    Final Round

    3-6 p.m.

    NBC

     

    The PGA of America and KPMG joined forces with the LPGA Tour in 2015 to create a world-class major championship that not only sustains the 60-year legacy of the former LPGA Championship, but also aims to elevate women on and off the golf course. The KPMG Women’s PGA Championship provides a platform to inspire the next generation of women leaders through the KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit and the KPMG Future Leaders Program.

     -NBC Sports Group-

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    Garcia (73), Fleetwood (74) off to slow starts at BMW

    By Associated PressJune 21, 2018, 8:30 pm

    PULHEIM, Germany – Sebastien Gros carded a 4-under 68 in windy conditions to lead by one shot after the opening round of the BMW International Open on Thursday.

    The Frenchman had four birdies to take the lead before the turn, and a six-footer on the 15th hole moved him two ahead. But a bogey on the next hole left the 28-year-old Gros just one ahead of Jorge Campillo, Scott Jamieson, Aaron Rai and Henric Sturehed.

    Sturehed eagled the par-5 No. 13 to take the lead in the morning at the Gut Laerchenhof club.

    Christofer Blomstrand, Nico Geyger, Mark Tullo, Victor Perez, David Howell and Nicolai von Dellingshausen are a further stroke back on 2-under 70.

    Defending champion Andres Romero was among a large group at 1 under, including 2013 winner Ernie Els and three-time European Tour winner Andy Sullivan.

    Romero is bidding to be the first player to retain the title.

    Local favorite and 2008 champion Martin Kaymer shot 72, ahead of Sergio Garcia (73) and Tommy Fleetwood (74).

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    Ryu thriving again after simple advice from Inbee Park

    By Randall MellJune 21, 2018, 7:07 pm

    So Yeon Ryu shared Rolex Player of the Year honors last year.

    She reigned as world No. 1 for almost five months.

    So when she couldn’t keep her momentum going at year’s start, she got frustrated. She wasn’t happy with two top 10s in her first 11 starts.

    “I lost a lot of confidence at the beginning of the year,” Ryu said Thursday as she prepared to lead a strong field as the defending champion in Friday’s start of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. “My expectation level was way too high.”

    So she sought the counsel of her pal, world No. 1 Inbee Park, who gave her some plain-spoken advice.


    Full-field scores from the Walmart Arkansas Championship


    “Get over it,” Park told her. “You know what to do. You’ve done it, so it’s not really a big deal. Don’t worry about it. You were No. 1. You’ve achieved a lot of things as a professional golfer. Just don’t be too hard on yourself.”

    Ryu got over it winning the Meijer LPGA Classic last week, the sixth LPGA title of her career, her third in 15 months. She’s feeling good again leading a stellar field this week at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Ark., a strong tune up before next week’s KPMG Women’s PGA Championship, the year’s third major championship.

    World No. 1 Park, No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn and No. 3 Lexi Thompson are among the top nine players in the world scheduled to compete this week. Twenty-four of the top 30 are in the field.

    “When you come to defend your title, you obviously have a lot of pressure, but after I won last week, now I sort of think, maybe I have a chance to defend my title,” Ryu said. “So I've got total confidence, by last week.”