Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Campbell Wins as His Rivals Crumble

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Campbell Wins as His Rivals Crumble

Article excerpt

Byline: By Mark Garrod

Ten years on from nearly winning the Open at St Andrews, and after some incredible highs and lows since then, Michael Campbell pulled off a stunning first Major victory in the US Open at Pinehurst last night.

The 36-year-old qualifier became the first New Zealander since Bob Charles in 1963 to win one of golf's top four prizes ( and in the process ended Tiger Woods' hopes of a first-ever Grand Slam in the same season.

The Masters champion was eight adrift of overnight leader Retief Goosen with just 16 holes to play, but as the defending champion opened the door with a nightmare round it was not only Woods who accepted the invitation.

Campbell, resuming four behind, had birdied the first from 12 feet and by the time he parred the next six he found himself two ahead.

A three-putt bogey on the eighth meant an outward 35, but as Woods made his move with birdies at the 10th, 11th and short 15th, Campbell responded by sinking birdie putts of 30 feet at the 10th and 12th.

It then looked as if Woods might close the gap again when Campbell found sand at the 15th. But as he splashed out to six feet and made the par putt, Woods, just short of the green in two on the 492-yard par four next, played a weak chip to 12 feet and missed.

Campbell was three clear again and that became four when Woods three-putted the 190-yard 17th.

Woods, whose nine major victories have all come when he was in the lead with a round to play, was not quite done as he curled in an eight-foot closing putt for a 69.

Seconds later, though, there was a roar from the 17th green and he must have sensed what it was. Campbell had found the target from 18 feet and the difference between them was back to three.

A double bogey was all he needed on the last as a result, but with tears welling up he bogeyed it for a 69 that matched the low round of the day.

Campbell's victory was a reward for keeping his head when all around were losing theirs. Most unexpected was Goosen's collapse. The South African defending champion, normally so cool, crashed to a shocking 81. …

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