home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


May 24, 2001

Michael Campbell


SCOTT CROCKETT: Michael, thank you for coming in and congratulations, before the start of the week you are the Volvo Order of Merit leader. You must be very excited.

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Obviously, I'm very excited about leading the Order of Merit, but I've been around long enough to realise with another six months ago, I'm not going to get too ahead of myself. To win the Order of Merit has always been one of my goals over here and I'm pretty determined to do well for the rest of the year, and hopefully with the challengers of Darren Clarke and Monty and Thomas Bjorn and Harrington and all of those other players behind me, they will be going for that 1-spot as well. I'm not getting too carried away. I'm just enjoying the moment right now and getting focused for tomorrow, really.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Reflections of last week in Germany?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: It was a good week. Obviously, the first round I got off to a really hot start, but I think unfortunately one with or two bad shots in the third round cost me couple double-bogeys and a double-bogey in the last round on the 7th hole and you can't do that against Tiger. Obviously, every mistake you make, he just seems to draw more from it. Perfect example was when I 3-putted the 10th hole. He holed like a 30-footer on the 11th hole and I birdied him after that and the 12th hole he birdied and so we were tied 19-under and obviously he juiced a shot the way he does it every time, he either chips in or holes a wedge or holes in with a 7-iron or does something stupid, I think, and obviously, he was very -- after he holed the shot he was very surprised, because he thought he hit it over the green. After all of the clapping and hoopla around the green, he realised it went in the hole. So that's the end of story.

Q. Would it be unfair to view that title as one that got away from you, given your position after two rounds or is it unfair in view of Tiger?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: The golf tournament is based on four rounds. It is not based on two rounds. So, one that got away, not really. The guy shot low in the third round. Had like three 63s -- and a 64 in the third round and obviously Tiger shot 64 in the third round and got caught up a few shots in the third round. He played great golf in the last two rounds to win. I was what ten shots ahead with two shots to play from Tiger and he shot 64, 66 -- I'm not quite sure of the exact scores he shot, but towards the ends -- he won by four. I can go back and look -- reflected on last week and be more positive than negative. You can look at a positive way saying, I think I actually got Tiger thinking twice about it, because I had a great start to my last round, birdied the first hole -- eagled the first hole and then I birdied the third and fourth holes. And I was leading for a while and then double-bogeyed 7th hole and he bogeyed the eighth hole. I birdied the eighth hole; so I was leading again. So, I was always among -- head-to-head with Tiger until he dunked that 7-iron on the 13th hole. It wasn't really a tournament I thought I lost. You can say that he won, but deep down inside, I think the guy shot low to beat me. If I went out there and shot 76, 77 the last two rounds, different story, but I didn't.

Q. Sergio Garcia, when he won in America, said that Tiger (inaudible) -- did that upset you at all?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: No, not at all. It's only a golf tournament. There's no reason why I should be upset about losing a golf tournament, as you say. I believe that Tiger won it from me. Having the ten-shot lead after two rounds, it isn't that much at all and these guys have done it before. Guys have been ten shots behind the lead after two rounds and won. I've shot not great scores -- 1-over the third round and 2-under the last round, and I can't go back and ponder about, "oh, my God, I lost against Tiger so many times in the year 2001." I've got to let it go. That's behind me now and I'm looking for to this week.

Q. Talking about positive things, you've had some good finishes here in this event. You've played well in this event. What is it about this event that gets you going?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I think it's the golf course itself, the atmosphere. This is a flagship tournament of the whole year and it's nice to be involved with this tournament. I've seen it played on TV many-a-times. I've seen Monty win it a few times. I've seen all of the great European players win, Langer and Seve and Faldo and across in this room right here (pointed at picture) and Rocca and Woosie. All of the true champions of the European Tour win this event, I believe, and Lee Westwood won, as well. So it's just one of those tournaments where all of the players want to win, so, so dearly. Because as I said before, it's one of the flagship tournaments of the year.

Q. The shot that Tiger hit at the 13th, you could view it as a magnificent shot by a great player or you could view it as outrageously lucky?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I think it's both. He seems to create luck at the right times every time. Obviously, it's skill and luck at the same time. I think when he was over the ball recently, he changed from a 6-iron to a 7-iron because it dropped; that's luck as well. So he changed clubs there and all of the sudden he hit the golf ball and it went in the hole. So, it was his destiny to win that week.

Q. Premonitions?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I remember I told you, didn't I? I was pretty close, though, wasn't I? I said 22 or 21, didn't I?

Q. No more this week?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: No. I've been too busy to think about premonitions right now.

Q. When you first started coming to Europe, would it be fair to say that you -- now going with the first two rounds Friday and Saturday, what are your thoughts as he tried to win the fourth won?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: I've always admired him as a player. When I first came here in '95, my first year on TOUR, first full year on tour, I loved playing with Monty a few times in and I believe he's one of the best ball-strikers in the world. And obviously, my game has gotten better over the years. Obviously had a very, very bad patch in '96, '97 but now I've come through that and I realise now that I am up with these guys and I've proven it to myself and to other people around me, but most importantly, to myself; and that's the most important thing. If you can believe that you can beat these guys, it's going to obviously help your confidence. You know, six years ago when I first joined this tour to now, it's black and white. My attitude has changed completely. I believe that, you know, I think this is one of the most tournaments on my list -- hit list, could you say to win. I've seen it won my Monty three times -- three times or four times, I can't remember. It's very, very impressive to win three times because you have Ernie Els and Vijay Singh who come over here every year to play this tournament here, and so it makes things a little bit tougher. It's just a joy to play and a joy to be involved in.

Q. You said your game has improved in those six years. How much has the Tour in general improved?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Oh, it's incredible just how things have improved probably five-fold. I remember when I first joined this tour in '95, the cut after the first round normally doubled. Like, say, the Top-70 guys after the first round, you would go was plus-one. Okay, well the cut is going to be plus-two. But now if the cut after the first round is plus-one, you've got to have minus, minus-one or minus-two. It goes back two or three shots which means that the quality -- the depth, I believe right now is so much better than five or six years ago. The kids -- well, I'm 32 years old and these kids, like 21 or 22, they come in so strong now. They hit the ball miles. They are fit. They are strong. They are mentally very strong and physically, too. And hence, the standard of European golf has definitely improved over the last, you know -- ever since I joined this tour, six years ago.

Q. Why are you so much better now? Is it technical? Is it mental?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Age. (Laughs). No, I think I've just -- experience over the years, experienced wonderful things and I've also experienced not so good things. And it's a matter of how you use those experiences. My experiences are the joys of winning European Tour events, the lows of shooting 80s, and I think the most important thing is I've grown up from all those sort of things. I've learned that golf isn't really that important in my life. Having a family now of two kids and a wife, my attention is -- the direction in my life is more to my family. Golf is secondary right now. I'm trying less, basically. I'm out there playing for fun and trying less, that's what I'm trying to say. Does that make sense?

Q. You're not working as hard on your game?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: No. Less. I'm trying to copy Colin Montgomerie's footsteps and practice less. See, with me, the more I practice, the worse I get, funny enough.

Q. Why is that?

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: Because I can change my swing so quickly. Probably sounds a little bit strange, but it's true. If I go out there and work on my swing for three hours, I could swing it like Eamonn Darcy quite easily. So I could change my swing quite ease in that sort of sense. So I try to have more quality rather than quantity. Like a quick half an hour here and there. Obviously, there's quality stuff, but the thing I've done in the last three or four years is work on my short game my putting chipping, bunker play, more than my technical side. And also my -- Josh van -- whatever his name -- he's been a great asset to my game. I've got this circle of -- I've got my coach, I've got my psychologist and I've got my fitness guy who is here this week, and my manager and my wife and all that stuff there, all that good stuff, and a whole puzzle of people. I think when you are involved -- when you are surrounded by those type of people, you feel good, and that's what I try every do now is to have those sort of people around me.

Q. (Inaudible.)

MICHAEL CAMPBELL: It's got to be a major. I remember as a kid I used to dream of winning a major. I'm not too fussy which one it's going to be, whether it's going to be Augusta or U.S. Open in another month's time or U.S. PGA or British Open. One of those that doesn't bother me. Once you achieve by winning a major you recognise you are recognised as more of a complete player, I think.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Michael, thank you very much. Good luck this week.

End of FastScripts....

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297