Tuesday, 05 May 2015
Michael Campbell   (Getty Images)
Michael Campbell (Getty Images)

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  • Michael Campbell

Former US Open champion Michael Campbell has announced his retirement from top-level golf to concentrate on coaching.

Campbell, an eight-time European Tour winner, held off Tiger Woods to win his first Major title in 2005 and finished inside the top 15 of the money list on six occasions, including a second place in his annus mirabilis ten years ago.

The 46 year old told New Zealand’s Radio Sport: “Obviously (winning the US Open) ten years ago was something special for me and for the country and for golf itself. I fulfilled one of my dreams to win a Major and it was fantastic.

“But as everyone knows, it has been well documented, my career since then hasn’t been great. But if I walk away from the game right now I could be very proud of my achievements.”

Campbell, who at just shy of €12 million earnings currently lies 30th on the all-time Career Money List, said injuries had hampered his form and his recent divorce had caused him to reassess his priorities.

“It gave me time to reflect on my career and I decided to put golf on the backburner right now and just focus on other things,” he said. “I have had a wonderful, fabulous career over the last 20 years as a professional golfer.

“I’m not going to give away golf forever, just put it on the backburner and focus on other things and what I’m doing right now is focusing on golf academies around the world.

“I want to spend more time with my boys. My boys are 16 and 14. I love spending time with them – watching them play tennis, fencing, golf. It’s their time really.”

Campbell’s victory at Pinehurst made him the first New Zealander to win a major since Bob Charles in 1963, with his country’s parliament suspended in order to watch the drama unfold in the final round.

He also beat 2014 Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley in the final of the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth later that year to capture a cheque for £1 million – then the richest prize in golf.

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