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Monday, June 20, 2005

BBC SPORT | Golf | Campbell clinches US Open glory

BBC SPORT | Golf | Campbell clinches US Open glory Campbell clinches US Open glory

US unless stated
Level Michael Campbell (NZ)
+2 Tiger Woods
+5 Sergio Garcia (Spa), Tim Clark (SA), Mark Hensby (Aus)
+6 Davis Love, Rocco Mediate, Vijay Singh (Fij)
New Zealand's Michael Campbell held off a late charge by Tiger Woods to win the 105th US Open at Pinehurst.

The 36-year-old carded a final-round 69 for level par to beat Woods (69) by two and claim his first major title.

Campbell began the day four shots behind overnight leader Retief Goosen but went in front as the defending champion imploded with a round of 81.

Spain's Sergio Garcia, South African Tim Clark and Australian Mark Hensby tied for third on five over.

Campbell, who secured the last US Open qualifying spot at Walton Heath, become the first Kiwi to win a major title since Bob Charles took the Open Championship at Lytham 42 years ago.

His previous best major finish was tied third at the 1995 Open after leading for three rounds.

"I've worked really hard for this," said Campbell. "I've had ups and downs through my whole career but it's worth the work. It's just amazing.

I was telling myself 20 times a hole, 'keep your focus'
US Open champion Michael Campbell

"It's completely changed my whole career. I can't believe I'm holding this trophy.

"I kept thinking about Bob [Charles]. I thought if I can shoot two or three under in the last round I've got a chance.

"Things went my way; I holed some long putts and some par-saving putts. I was telling myself 20 times a hole, 'keep your focus'."

If I had putted normally, I would be looking a lot better right now
Tiger Woods

Campbell birdied his first hole and soon joined Goosen in the lead at level par after the South African leaked a double bogey and a bogey in his first three holes.

Goosen, whose nerveless putting of last year at Shinnecock Hills deserted him, dropped another shot at the fifth to give Campbell the outright lead.

The South African went on to drop further shots at the sixth and ninth to go out in 41 and made four straight bogeys from the 12th.

Campbell, from Wellington, dropped a shot at the eighth but birdies at 10 and 12 took him clear.

World number one Woods, a nine-time major winner, began bogey-bogey but made birdies at four and seven.

He took over as Campbell's main challenger with further birdies at 10 and 11 as the final round really came alight.

I just got off to a terrible start, but I'll be back to try again
Retief Goosen

He made another at 15 to get to within one of Campbell.

Bogeys at 16 and 17 derailed the surge and despite a birdie on the last, Campbell's bogey-birdie-bogey finish was enough to secure the prize.

"I'm pleased with the way I played. I controlled my ball very well and I've made big strides on my ball striking since Augusta," said Woods.

"But I'm not pleased with my putting. If I had putted normally, I would be looking a lot better right now.

"I couldn't get the pace right all week and pace determines line."

American Davis Love III (69) was one of only four players under par on the final day - along with Campbell, Woods and Stewart Cink (69) - as he climbed to six over alongside countryman Rocco Mediate (71) and Fiji's Vijay Singh (72).

Goosen finished on eight over for a share of 11th, while American playing partner Jason Gore, ranked 818th in the world at the beginning of the tournament, finished with 84 for 14 over.

"I just got off to a terrible start, but I'll be back to try again," said Goosen.

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