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June 18, 2005

Michael Campbell


Q. How do you feel?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Tired. It's just a grind out there, that's all I can say. The guys that played the course today I'm sure agree. Shooting 1 over today is like shooting 5 under. I'm not sure how many under par rounds there are today, but probably not many. One, okay.

Q. Peter Jacobsen, a 51 year old.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I've got hope.

Q. We've all got hope. What does that say, though, for the way that this course is set up? In an era of long courses that just reward

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I think you give the credit to the USGA. They've made it quite playable, unlike last year. So they've done great to prepare this golf course the way they wanted to prepare it, and hence the scoring isn't that great. I think Goosie is 2 under, but besides this, no one else under par. So I think they achieved what they wanted to achieve this week is be level par or under being the winning score.

Q. How would you characterize the journey since the last time you were in contention at a major?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Well, 2000 didn't count, because Tiger was so far in front. It's been a long time between drinks, you could say. '95 was the last time I was leading, the British Open in '95, and finished 3rd there. It's been ten years ago. Funny enough, I feel quite comfortable out there; being amongst the best players in a major championship I feel quite comfortable.

Q. You won Rookie of the Year that year, and there was such enormous potential for you. How do you feel right now?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I think you just try and learn I was 25 years old and had no clue on how to lead a major championship. I was just having fun. And all of a sudden I was leading the British Open in '95. It was quite bizarre, really. But you just learn off all your mistakes and turn things around from negative to positive.

Q. You had the opportunity to play in America straight after that British Open and you chose to stay in Europe. Looking back, was that the right decision?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Well, actually I had an injury for six months, a wrist injury, so I couldn't play anywhere. My first tournament back was Honda, I think, in '96, and played Augusta. And so it was a bit difficult for me to come over after an injury. I wasn't feeling that confident or great about my swing, and I was still a little bit injured. I really shouldn't have played for a year; I came back too soon, too quickly, and did more damage to the wrist, but now it's fine. That was ten years ago.

Q. You have a two time champion out there. You have Jason Gore, who came off the Nationwide Tour, and Olin Browne who plays in the Champions Tour. Those are the guys in the top bracket; it's an eclectic mix packed up there.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: It's amazing how this type of golf course brings out different type of players and ages and colors, you could say.

Q. Is that what a U.S. Open really should do?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Yeah. Obviously it brings the top players into brings the top players to the part, it always does at major championships. Look at these five or ten guys who are within three or four shots. Anybody can win. I have great players behind me and great players in front of me. I have to go out and play my own game and see what happens.

Q. This is a course you just cannot be overly aggressive on?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Oh, no, no. Once again, you have to be shooting for the middle of the greens, front portion of the greens.

Q. You do have the luxury just being a few strokes off, you have the luxury of not having to be aggressive?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Well, I think if you just play conservatively out there tomorrow, you've got 18 chances from three feet away, and you'll probably hole two of those. That's my game plan for tomorrow.

Q. Have you thought about Goosen leading and chasing him down?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Yeah, he's a great front runner. Obviously he's won twice already, U.S. Opens, so he knows how to win this championship. And he's got a lot of experience, more than me, obviously. But this is Pinehurst, this is a major championship, anything can happen tomorrow.

Q. You're from the same part of the world, but have you played much with Mark Hensby before?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: It's the first time I've played with Mark. We got on great today, really great.

Q. You both had two of the better days amongst the front runners.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Yeah, yeah. I think if you get on with a guy that you know quite well and talk about other stuff besides golf, and it was quite amusing today. It was nice to change the subject away from golf.

Q. Mark was great yesterday and when he said it, it was utterly believable, he said "You guys, the media, make a bigger deal out of the majors." He says, "For me, this is just another golf tournament." And he was very, very sincere in the way he said it. A, did you get that demeanor from him and B

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Very, very relaxed or very easy going attitude today, and it was nice, actually. There was not much intensity, just go out and play and have a bit of fun, and I sort of tagged along with him.

Q. Did that help you

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: That's my nature anyway, as a person I'm relaxed, a bit like Goosie. And, yeah, today was a good day for both of us.

End of FastScripts.

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