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July 20, 2005

Michael Campbell


RODDY WILLIAMS: Thanks very for joining us here at the Deutsche Bank Players' Championship at Gut Kaden. First of all, tell us how you feel you're playing. It's been a pretty impressive couple of months, isn't it?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Yeah, I think, if someone said to me at the start of the year: "Michael, you'll finish first and fifth in the major championships," I'd definitely take it. It's been a great, fun five, six weeks. Winning my first major championship five weeks ago was a great thrill for me and it's given me confidence for this week.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Last week, as well, was an important week as well. Obviously ten years ago you came so close to winning at St. Andrews. Were you pleased with your performance?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I suppose when you win one, you want to win more, many more tournaments, major tournaments. I felt that I went to last week not playing my best, by B Game I think, and to do that and finish fifth in a major championship is a pretty good feat. I think I was on my game the week of Pinehurst, but last week wasn't as good, wasn't at sharp around the greens as it was at Pinehurst. But to walk away after winning at Pinehurst, to walk away from last week in the Top 5 I thought was a pretty good effort.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Final round, we were hoping that some of you guys would make a bit more of a charge, would you talk us through that final Sunday for us?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Yeah, I thought I had a chance to win the tournament. I think Monty and Ollie had a pretty good start to their rounds and they got within one or two shots of Tiger but faltered towards the end. But I just got off to a bad start. I was 1 over after the second hole and couldn't really recover from there.

The pin locations the last day were pretty tight, very, very tight and tucked around corners and you couldn't get close. I knew that there would not be many birdies out there for that reason, and so I think I tried too hard too quickly, too soon and made a few vital errors.

RODDY WILLIAMS: What are your goals for the rest of the season, you have one more major championship, what are your goals?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: As I said, once you've w, the standards are a lot higher, you've raised the bar personally and I have. I'm disappointed from last week finishing fifth, but it's an indication to me saying to myself that, you know, I'm capable of winning every time I enter a golf tournament now, especially majors.

Q. Running out of ways to lengthen the golf courses, but compensating the last couple of months, by making tougher pin positions, tougher than they used to be?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: One way you could do it really is to place the bunkers around the 300 mark rather than 250. A perfect example once again is last week at St. Andrews. There they lengthened the 14th hole by, what's that, 40 yards, 45 yards, but still, you've got to get there in two. They put bunkers out 300 yards out and people rethink, they hit 3 wood off the tee. But right now, because the ball is running so hard and fast, most guys are hitting it 350 off the tee.

So I think the way to maybe strengthen the golf course is put cross bunkers out there 300 yards to guard against, 350, or 320 off the tee.

Q. You don't think the pin placements are taking over toughening the golf course?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I think a combination of both would be nice. The only safeguard, the only way that St. Andrews could protect itself was the R&A putting those pins where they were last week and it toughened the golf course up by a long shot. I think either a combination of cross bunkers, as well as tough pin placements. And some of the pin placements last week were on the side of hills, incredible.

Q. Did it feel different turning up last week as a Major Champion, going on the driving range, do you just feel different within yourself?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I could feel their energy, the respect they gave me on the driving range or on the putting green was fantastic. And that's a real buzz for me to have this respect from my peers; my peers, the likes of Greg Norman and Nicklaus and Tom Watson. All of the greats in the game of golf came up to me and shook my hand and wished me all the best for that week. Just to have that means a lot to me, because I've seen these guys play, watching them play when I was a little toddler. So to have that mutual respect now is obviously a huge thing for me. I've really enjoyed that side of things.

So going into last week was I was going to last week as a contender instead of a person in the field because I feel that Michael Campbell is hear to win this week, not to hopefully finish in the Top 10.

Q. Looking at Tiger's performance would you put him on the level of the All Blacks? Would you say it's inevitable?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I beat him a month ago, five weeks ago, that was nice. Not quite; the All Blacks haven't lost for a long time, and it's very hard to maintain that level. He's human, he's not a robot, he's not God, so he's a person. We all make mistakes, and right now I think the All Blacks are definitely a little bit almost around being invincible, but still, he's an amazing golfer. What he did last week was, once again, I think we saw him not at his best to be honest. I still think he went there not playing that great. I've seen Tiger play fantastic five years ago and to me that was awesome. I still feel that we haven't seen the best of Tiger.

Q. You'll be going home after the tournament; what you will do, how many parties are arranged and what is expected over there?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Oh, yeah. I'm going home on Monday. Having two ticker tape parades; ticker tape meaning open car with trophy, going on the main streets of Wellington and Auckland with people, you know, cheering and yelling at me and that sort of stuff. It's going to be great, and I have organized a few parties as well. It's all about, you know, just savor the moment.

And I'm obviously, you know, from five weeks ago, six weeks has been a huge transformation in my lifestyle and my life and golfing career and I want to share that with the people back home. That's why I'm going home for ten days, just to spread the whole enjoyment of my win at Pinehurst. I've got a few things organized, lots of things organized.

Q. Planning on getting any sleep?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I think so. Once again, I'm flying straight from there to America for the U.S. PGA. I'll be having a good time. But still in the back of my mind, trying to focus on playing the PGA as well.

Q. What was the last ticker tape through Auckland, any idea?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: It was actually the America's Cup about four years ago I think.

Q. Let's go back to the course here. Have you seen all 18 holes? Have you seen anything, have you any estimation of how difficult it is?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Not yet. Basically I flew in this morning. I had to do a few things back home before I came out here. And I played here four years ago, or two years ago. That was the last time I played here when Padraig won. So I do recall how the golf course goes, but, well, looking forward to playing in the Pro Am but maybe not.

Q. You've got quite a reasonable record in this tournament; I don't think you've won it, but you've been up there a couple of times.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Yeah, there was a time when Tiger and I were playing head to head the last nine holes and he holed a 6 iron on me on 14 in 2001. That was a lot of fun. But I've had success in Germany. I've won the German Masters.

RODDY WILLIAMS: Thanks again and good luck this week.

End of FastScripts.

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