Campbell Set to Tackle US Tour
Campbell had one of his best seasons in 2002, moving to 15th overall on the European career money list and finishing eighth on the European Tour's Order of Merit while winning the European Open.
He finished second to Tiger Woods in the Bay Hill Invitational on the U.S. Tour, third in the Cisco World Match Play and had five other top-10 finishes around the world, including a second in last year's New Zealand Open.
Campbell will soon begin looking for a house in Florida with his wife and two children while he gets serious about the U.S. Tour, playing in about 21 or 22 tournaments.
``I sat down with my coach and manager and we decided to commit to the U.S. Tour this year,'' Campbell said Tuesday at the New Zealand Open, where he begins play Thursday at Auckland Golf Club.
``My main goal is to win in America. I came close last year at the Bay Hill. I've won almost everywhere around the world, but not there.''
Campbell admitted there was also some peer pressure -- he watched fellow New Zealand pros Phil Tataurangi and Craig Perks win big in the United States last year, Perks in The Players Championship and Tataurangi at the Invensys Classic in Las Vegas.
``I guess I'm a little envious,'' said Campbell, smiling.
Age was also a factor.
``I'm 33 years old now and I thought it was time to go,'' said Campbell.
``I don't think I've been ready mentally before now. I don't know how to explain it, but I think I wasn't comfortable with the American scene -- it's so big over there, the Tour was so big. But I'm ready now.''
Campbell, who has also won on the Australasian PGA tour, has already changed some of his game because of the softer greens and fairways in America.
``I've had to make some adjustments in my ball flight, to take into account the softer courses,'' said Campbell.
``It's best to hit it higher and longer, so I've already changed my driver to give me a better launch angle.''
Along with a win, he's looking to be more consistent.
``If there is one thing I'm missing in my game, it's consistency,'' said Campbell. ``I'm not only not winning a tournament, I'm missing the cut.
``For someone in the top 20 rankings in the world, that's not a very good record to have.''
Campbell, Perks and Tataurangi are the headliners in the New Zealand Open along with former U.S. PGA champion Wayne Grady of Australia.
It's a low-key affair compared with last year's Open at Paraparaumu Golf Club north of Wellington, when Woods made his first appearance in New Zealand, finishing sixth behind winner Craig Parry of Australia.
On Monday, Campbell was named New Zealand golfer of the year. In the Open, he will again donate his New Zealand prize money to a children's charity.
He will take the next three weeks off, hosting a junior golf day next week, spending some time at his home in Sydney, Australia and then heading to the U.S. for the World Match Play in Carlsbad, California at the end of February.
Five-time Open champ Thomson passes at 88
MELBOURNE, Australia – Five-time Open Championship winner Peter Thomson has died, his family said Wednesday. He was 88.
Thomson had been suffering from Parkinson's disease for more than four years and died at his Melbourne home surrounded by family members on Wednesday morning.
Born on Aug, 23, 1929, Thomson was two months short of his 89th birthday.
The first Australian to win The Open Championship, Thomson went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equaled only by Tom Watson.
On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985.
Thomson also served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organization where he was chairman for five years.
He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.
In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.
Thomson is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements were to be announced over the next few days.
Gaston leaves USC to become head coach at Texas A&M
In a major shakeup in the women’s college golf world, USC coach Andrea Gaston has accepted an offer to become the new head coach at Texas A&M.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Gaston, who informed her players of her decision Monday night, has been one of the most successful coaches over the past two decades, leading the Trojans to three NCAA titles and producing five NCAA individual champions during her 22-year reign. They have finished in the top 5 at nationals in an NCAA-record 13 consecutive seasons.
This year was arguably Gaston’s most impressive coaching job. She returned last fall after undergoing treatment for uterine cancer, but a promising season was seemingly derailed after losing two stars to the pro ranks at the halfway point. Instead, she guided a team with four freshmen and a sophomore to the third seed in stroke play and a NCAA semifinals appearance. Of the four years that match play has been used in the women’s game, USC has advanced to the semifinals three times.
Texas A&M could use a coach with Gaston’s track record.
Last month the Aggies fired coach Trelle McCombs after 11 seasons following a third consecutive NCAA regional exit. A&M had won conference titles as recently as 2010 (Big 10) and 2015 (SEC), but this year the team finished 13th at SECs.
The head-coaching job at Southern Cal is one of the most sought-after in the country and will have no shortage of outside interest. If the Trojans look to promote internally, men’s assistant Justin Silverstein spent four years under Gaston and helped the team win the 2013 NCAA title.
Spieth 'blacked out' after Travelers holeout
CROMWELL, Conn. – It was perhaps the most-replayed shot (and celebration) of the year.
Jordan Spieth’s bunker holeout to win the Travelers Championship last year in a playoff over Daniel Berger nearly broke the Internet, as fans relived that raucous chest bump between Spieth and caddie Michael Greller after Spieth threw his wedge and Greller threw his rake.
Back in Connecticut to defend his title, Spieth admitted that he has watched replays of the scene dozens of times – even if, in the heat of the moment, he wasn’t exactly choreographing every move.
“Just that celebration in general, I blacked out,” Spieth said. “It drops and you just react. For me, I’ve had a few instances where I’ve been able to celebrate or react on a 72nd, 73rd hole, 74th hole, whatever it may be, and it just shows how much it means to us.”
Spieth and Greller’s celebration was so memorable that tournament officials later shipped the rake to Greller as a keepsake. It’s a memory that still draws a smile from the defending champ, whose split-second decision to go for a chest bump over another form of celebration provided an appropriate cap to a high-energy sequence of events.
“There’s been a lot of pretty bad celebrations on the PGA Tour. There’s been a lot of missed high-fives,” Spieth said. “I’ve been part of plenty of them. Pretty hard to miss when I’m going into Michael for a chest bump.”
Pregnant Lewis playing final events before break
Stacy Lewis will be looking to make the most of her last three starts of 2018 in her annual return to her collegiate roots this week.
Lewis, due to give birth to her first child on Nov. 3, will tee it up in Friday’s start to the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship at Pinnacle Country Club in Rogers, Arkansas. She won the NCAA individual women’s national title in 2007 while playing at the University of Arkansas. She is planning to play the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship next week and then the Marathon Classic two weeks after that before taking the rest of the year off to get ready for her baby’s arrival.
Lewis, 33, said she is beginning to feel the effects of being with child.
“Things have definitely gotten harder, I would say, over the last week or so, the heat of the summer and all that,” Lewis said Tuesday. “I'm actually excited. I'm looking forward to the break and being able to decorate the baby's room and do all that kind of stuff and to be a mom - just super excited.”
Lewis says she is managing her energy levels, but she is eager to compete.
“Taking a few more naps and resting a little bit more,” she said. “Other than that, the game's been pretty good.”
Lewis won the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship in 2014, and she was credited with an unofficial title in ’07, while still a senior at Arkansas. That event was reduced to 18 holes because of multiple rain delays. Lewis is a popular alumni still actively involved with the university.