Michael Campbell getting ready for seniors’ tour
Michael Campbell is preparing for his golfing comeback.
The winner of the 2005 United States Open, in which Tiger Woods finished second, plans to play several events on the European Tour in preparation for his ultimate aim of playing on the seniors’ tour.
Campbell will become eligible for the seniors tour when he turns 50 next February. And even though he will initially have an age advantage, Campbell wants his game up to scratch from the time he makes his debut on the seniors’ circuit.
Campbell has a lifetime exemption to play on the European Tour but said he would probably be very selective as to which events he plays.
He said the days are long gone when he can match it with the longer hitters in the game. Consequently he was likely to choose shorter courses when deciding which events to play on the European Tour. He would also look at courses he has played well in the past.
Campbell, only one of two male New Zealand golfers to win a major championship along with Bob Charles, retired from playing golf a few years ago. He has turned his hand to coaching and has two golf academies in Spain where he has been living.
Campbell had more than two decades as a professional golfer and he admitted it became a grind.
“After 20 to 25 years on tour, it got a little bit stale,” Campbell told Scottish golf magazine and website Bunkered.
Campbell said his home life suffered as a consequence.
“I was a very absent father because I was so busy in my own little world. I spent half of their lives away from them.’'
Campbell said he had only played a handful of times a year in recent times but as a consequence had spent valuable time with his two sons.
“The last four years I’ve been able to catch up, reconnect, and spend some quality time with them. It’s been wonderful.
“I’ve lived a normal life. All the apps on my phone are about cooking.
“When I was playing golf, I could barely make a poached egg. Now I’m a bit of a master chef.’'
“Something I’ve really enjoyed is just being normal – going to the supermarket, picking the kids up from school, watching them play sport, things like that.''
He said he is now ready to give the game another serious attempt.
“Now, they’re (the children) on their way to adulthood – my eldest is off to university in Australia – so the comeback is great timing and I feel like I’m in the right mindset to come back now, too.
“I’m just going to enjoy being out there and not expect too much.’'
He will head to America to work with his coach Jonathan Yarwood this month and hopes to be back playing a month or two after that. He would like to play in Australasia and did not rule out lining up in the New Zealand Open in early March.