Michael Campbell Pre-Tournament Interview - US PGA
BY iseekgolf.com | US PGA Tour | 2005 US PGA Championship | General | 10 Aug 2005
Q: Good afternoon again, ladies and gentlemen. Michael Campbell, the 2005 US Open Champion is joining us at the 87th PGA Championship. Michael has played in eight PGA Championships.
Welcome to Baltusrol Golf Club. If you would not mind giving us some thoughts on what you think of the golf course, and we’ll go to Q&A.
Michael Campbell: I think one description about this golf course is a beast. That’s all I can say. It’s long, it’s a very strong golf course. It’s playing very long because it’s very soft out there, and you know, it’s going to be tough. It’s going to be tough. The rough is high as is normal typical PGA setup, so it’s the guy that hits it long and straight, really.
Q: I wonder if you could take us through your trip back to Wellington. Just having seen pictures of it, it looked very exciting for you. What was it like for you?
Michael Campbell: Oh, it was incredible. I spent eight days in New Zealand. I flew the whole family over from England to New Zealand. It was a long trip for the kids, as well.
But we had a blast. It was fun. We had a parade, the ticker tape parade, which means I was on like a float on the main street of Wellington and 130,000 people turned up, so it was an incredible reception from my countrymen. It was a lot of fun and a lot of excitement.
I needed to do that just to close a chapter. Obviously the last couple of months has been a lot of fun and for me to carry onto my next chapter in my book; I needed to go home and close that chapter. In doing that, that was finishing one, and starting another.
But the eight days that I was there was very exciting for me to share my success before my people back home, back home in New Zealand, and it was great fun.
Q: I’d like to welcome you to China, in a couple of weeks you’ll be in China. Since you’ve won the U.S. Open, your life obviously has changed quite a bit. Is this your first time in China playing the tournament and what’s your expectation?
Michael Campbell: I’ve played in China twice already, the Johnny Walker and the BMW tournament, and I’m coming back, I think, for the HSBC.
Q: So November, as well?
Michael Campbell: Yeah, I really enjoy playing in China, it’s the new golfing mecca of the world. You see a lot of people venturing over to China now these days because that’s where the market is right now. That’s where The European Tour is going next year, as well, apparently. There will be more tournaments in China.
So it’s a very exciting place to be a part of right now is in China, so I’m looking forward to hopefully going back in November.
Q: This will be your second major as a Major Champion. Can you talk about how different you were treated at the British Open, and as you get here now, from other players and the fans and the media? Is there a difference in how everybody treats you?
Michael Campbell: People know me now. I’ve been called Vijay Singh, Chad Campbell, that’s a bit of a mystery, really, Chad Campbell, Stephen Ames, Omar Uresti, but all of the people here now know me as Michael Campbell, so that’s pretty cool.
Q: If you could just expand on your answer before about going home, you said you wanted to end up this chapter and start another; what was it you had to leave behind and what is next for you? What is the next chapter that you’re going to next?
Michael Campbell: I had to leave behind thinking about winning the U.S. Open. Because right now, I’m in the mode of winning this tournament here, the U.S. PGA. I think for me to it’s obviously nice to go back and have fond memories of winning the U.S. Open, but if you think about the past too much, you forget about the present and future. That’s why I did that, to close that chapter and put that behind me.
Now I’m looking forward to more major championships. I think some players sometimes are very happy with one major championship, but I want more. I want to be a multiple winner. That’s why I’m here. That’s why now I’m competing to win my second major.
I think coming fifth at the British Open after my U.S. Open victory was a huge step for me because it just proved a point that, you know, a month, two months ago wasn’t a fluke. I wanted to come back and play strong in the next major, being the British Open. Another strong performance here just reinforces my status as a major winner.
Q: Can you speak a little bit about hole No. 17, the length, and a true par 5? How do you plan on playing that one?
Michael Campbell: Sorry, what was the question?
Q: Hole No. 17 is a true three shot par 5. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Michael Campbell: Well, it’s long. It’s a long, long hole.
It’s one of the longest par 5s I’ve ever played. I played yesterday, hit a good drive, good 3 wood and a lob wedge. So it’s obviously a three shotter for most people. I think maybe John might get there, John Daly or a few other long hitters, but it’s just a long hole. Into the breeze, it’s going to be tough. The course is playing long, so, you know, I think the course measures 7,400 yards but is playing another 200 yards longer because it’s so soft out there?
Q: Cambo, some people have suggested this week it’s basically a two man race between Tiger and Vijay. Is that an insult to the rest of the field or is that fair based on the way the course is set up and the way those two have been playing?
Michael Campbell: I would not say it’s a two horse race. I think Retief Goosen is a great player; Mickelson, he’s playing great. There’s a lot of fine players playing this week. I believe there’s five missing from the Top 100 in the world playing. I would not say it’s a two horse race. I think it’s anyone’s game this week. Obviously Tiger is the favorite this week. I showed to everybody and to the Rest of the World that he can be beatable two months ago. He was favored to win the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, I managed to knock him off his pedestal for a week, which is nice. But he came back strong two weeks later for the Open at St. Andrews, but I would not say it’s a two horse race. I think it’s more of an open field.
Q: Have you set a timetable where in the future you might want to play on the PGA TOUR? You had mentioned about your kids being young and you don’t want to subject them to the move right now?
Michael Campbell: Yeah, I think I’ve got a five year window winning the U.S. Open. For the next three years, I’m just going to play my normal routine, which is mostly The European Tour and play the major tournaments and a few tournaments here in America for the next three years. Then I’ll reassess after three years and see how my kids are coping with all of the travel and with schooling, because they are more important than this golf game.
Golf is wonderful. This can be a wonderful lifestyle, but it’s only a game. My kids are more important than the game of golf, so, you know, right now, I’m just happy with all of my processes and all of my routines I’m doing, and we’ll just see what happens in another three years time.
Q: Questions? Questions twice for Chad Campbell (laughter)?
Thank you very much for coming down, Michael.
Source – US PGA Championship
Photo – Anthony Powter