US Open and HSBC World Match Play Champion Michael Campbell has announced that he will make his fourth consecutive appearance in The Celtic Manor Wales Open when he tees off at this year’s tournament. The European Tour event will be played on the Roman Road course at The Celtic Manor Resort from June 1-4, 2006.
New Zealand’s most successful golfer since Bob Charles, Campbell will be looking to improve on last year’s 15th place at the Celtic Manor Wales Open, his best finish so far at The Celtic Manor Resort, as he strives to better his second place finish on last year’s European Tour Order of Merit.
With his victory at Pinehurst last June, Campbell became the first New Zealander to win a Major Championship since Charles’ Open Championship success at Royal Lytham and St Anne’s in 1963. The 2005 US Open title was Campbell’s seventh victory on The European Tour International Schedule and his 14th triumph worldwide. Not wishing to rest on his laurels, he went on to finish 2005 strongly, beating Paul McGinley 2 and 1 in the HSBC World Match Play Championship.
Michael Campbell said: “I have always felt at home at Celtic Manor and I’m looking forward to returning to Wales. It is definitely one of the leading tournaments on The European Tour and I really enjoyed the challenge of the Roman Road course last year, as well as experiencing the impressive facilities the resort has to offer.”
Jon Phelps, Tournament Director of the Celtic Manor Wales Open, said: “Michael has been a great supporter of the Celtic Manor tournament over the years and it is really gratifying to invite him back as a Major winner. He is a great example to everyone with the way he has worked at his game and many people inside and outside of the game were delighted at the success he achieved last year. It is a great boost for the tournament to announce that he will be taking part in this year’s event and I am sure this will swell the crowds.”
In six short years The Celtic Manor Wales Open has become one of the premier events on The European Tour. Other players in action during the 2005 tournament included Ryder Cup stars Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo, and Thomas Björn as well as current US Open Champion Michael Campbell.
Promising young Walker Cup talent Ollie Fisher was recently announced as the first name on the drawsheet following a personal request from mentor Nick Faldo to the tournament organisers that he receive a sponsor invite for the 2006 tournament.
With the development of The 2010 Ryder Cup course well underway, the 2006 tournament will once again be played on the Roman Road course which also hosted this year’s star-studded All*Star Cup. Last year’s tournament once again saw attendances approach 50,000 over the four days of championship action.