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Campbell Holds His Nerve For Victory
Campbell Wins US Open
Michael Campbell is on top of the golfing world.
He has become only the second New Zealander to win a major championship, winning the US Open by two shots from World number one Tiger Woods.
Campbell held his nerve over the closing holes to fire a one under par 69 to finish even par for the tournament, two shots clear of Woods who closed with a 69.
He is the first New Zealander to win a Major since Bob Charles won the 1963 British Open.
The stunning performance by Campbell, who began the day four shots behind third-round leader and defending champion Retief Goosen, led to a standing ovation from the crowd.
Campbell cannot quite believe his achievement. He says he has worked really hard for this moment, and the ups and downs of his whole career have been worth it for this moment.
There were some important moments, particularly with some key putts that saved par and he says right at the back of his mind, all through the day, was the memory of Sir Bob Charles' British Open win in 1963.
Campbell's coach Jonathan Yarwood says with a result like that he is going to be living it up.
Yarwood says to do it on the American Father's Day makes it an even better achievement, with his father watching from the Titahi Bay Golf Club in Wellington.
He says he is going to drink copious bottles of wine and have a good night as a result.
Jonathan Yarwood says changes to Campbell's putting technique have reaped massive dividends and he has finally delivered on his immense potential.
He says Campbell has always had a great deal of latent talent and that has now come to the fore.
The victory has created some extra work for New Zealand Open officials for next year's tournament at Gulf Harbour, north of Auckland.
Tournament Director Phil Aickin says Campbell has confirmed he is coming back for the event, and is likely to be an even bigger drawcard than normal.
Aickin says Campbell's new status as US Open champion may also convince a few more of the world's elite players to make the journey to New Zealand next year.
FACTS AND FIGURES ON CAMPBELL'S US OPEN WIN
Earns a five-year exemption on the PGA TOUR and earns an exemption into the US Open for 10 years. Also earns five-year exemptions to THE PLAYERS Championship, Masters Tournament, British Open and PGA Championship.
OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP and MAJOR CHAMPIONSHIP NEWS
* First come-from-behind winner at the US Open in the last seven years (four strokes). The last to come-from-behind at the Open was Lee Janzen, who came from five back of Payne Stewart in 1998 to win.
* Is the 57th player to make the US Open Championship his first career Major Championship and is the first since Jim Furyk in 2003.
* Posts highest winning total (even-par 280) at a US Open since Lee Janzen won in 1998 with a score of even-par 280 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
* First player to win a major or on TOUR with a total score of even-par since Mark O'Meara won the 1998 British Open.
* Just the second New Zealander to win a major championship following left-hander Bob Charles at the 1963 British Open.
* Twenty-three international players have now won the US Open on 29 different occasions. Retief Goosen was the last to do so in 2004. Is the first non-South African international player to win the Open since Australia's David Graham in 1981.
* For the second straight Open, the winner posted double-digit one putts during the final round. Campbell had 10 one putts on Sunday, while Goosen had 12 in 2004 at Shinnecock Hills.
* First top-10 finish at the Open in seven starts. Has made three cuts including a tied for 32nd in 1996 and tied for 12th in 2000. Missed last four Open cuts (2001-04).
* Win comes in first start on the PGA TOUR in 2005 and became the sixth first-time winner on the PGA TOUR in 2005.
* First New Zealander to win on TOUR since Craig Perks won the 2002 PLAYERS Championship.
* First non-member to win on TOUR since Darren Clarke won the 2003 World Golf Championships-NEC Invitational.
* The career-best US$1,170,000 paycheck is more than double his previous best ($432,000/2nd 2002 Bay Hill Invitational).
* Earns a trip to the 2006 Mercedes Championships in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii.
* Has six wins on the European Tour and three on the Australasian Tour.
* Career earnings move to $2,494,752 with Sunday's check comprising 46.9% of his career TOUR earnings.
* The win is his seventh top-10 on TOUR in 63 starts and his first since a tied for ninth at the 2002 World Golf Championships-American Express Championship.[/b]