Michael Campbell on mend, to miss US Open

Last updated 12:26 15/05/2014
Michael Campbell
MAJOR WINNER: Michael Campbell won the US Open in 2005, but has struggled to find that Tiger-beating form since.

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Michael Campbell will miss the US Open for the first time since his 2005 win following an ankle injury and separating from his wife.

The New Zealand golfing icon announced on his website today that he had separated from his wife, Julie.

"On a personal note, I have some sad news," he wrote.

"Unfortunately Julie and I have separated.

"Our children remain our number one focus as we move forwards - as parents first and foremost while remaining both friends and business partners."

Campbell also said he was suffering from problems with a tendon in his left ankle that had stopped him playing for the last two to three months.

He has not played since missing the cut Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January.

He was back to playing 18 holes now but said he was not "physically or mentally ready to play tournament golf".

"I have decided not to play in the PGA Championship, the US Open or the events in between," he said.

"I want to get back to my best and I believe this is the best strategy to achieve this."

In a Sports Illustrated article, published this week, Campbell was upbeat about the possibility of playing at this year's US Open, starting on June 12, but admitted his chances of winning were slim.

"When you know your chances aren't great it's hard to get on the plane," he said.

At the time of the interview he was still with Julie and was hopeful of getting back into golf.

"I've had time to reflect on what's happened and think about my future," he told Sports Illustrated.

"I'm not quitting -- competition is my passion. I love kissing a trophy at the end of the week, but 20 years of playing this game at the highest level takes its toll, physically and mentally.

"I'm beginning a new chapter in life."

Campbell still lives near three championship golf courses in Benahavis, Spain and his father Tom said Michael had no plans to return to New Zealand in the immediate future.

Speaking from Titahi Golf Club – Michael's home club – Tom Campbell said his son did not really tell him much but they did talk recently.

"I talked to him about a month ago and he had to sort out a few things," he said.

"I don't really ask him what's going on, or details, but he was going to get back into it [golf] when he could.

"He obviously can't at the moment but he'll want to get back to it I'm sure."

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Campbell beat Tiger Woods at the 2005 US Open and has played in every one since, but has failed to make the cut in all but one of those appearances.

- Stuff

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