Major Champion Michael Campbell Excited to be Competing Again
Michael Campbell, the 2005 U.S. Open champion from New Zealand, spent eight years away from playing golf. But his plan was always to play again once he turned 50, which he turned in February 2019.
Then COVID-19 hit, and only now, at 53, is Campbell getting started. The KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship marked his second event since 2020. Campbell hadn’t been totally away from the game, as he has kept a hand in broadcasting. But as he ramped up to play again, and has done a few podcasts talking about his career – seven European Tour victories to go with his U.S. Open – it has sparked some terrific memories.
“It made me appreciate what I’ve done more, and how much I appreciate the game,” he said. “I missed the game. I missed being out there competing. I love competing against the best players in the world, and that’s something that was missing.”
Campbell was one of 77 players exempt into the upcoming U.S. Senior Open to be played at Saucon Valley. Time away from playing gave him an opportunity to give back to the game that had given Campbell so much.
“I have my golf academy in southern Spain, and I’ve enjoyed that, and giving back,” he said. “I’ve been there for 10 years, but now it’s time to be a bit more selfish and enjoy playing these tournaments.”