Campbell struggling for form ahead of Open

FRED WOODCOCK
Last updated 12:00 13/06/2012
Michael Campbell
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LONG SHO: Michael Campbell is a 500 to one outsider with the TAB to repeat his 2005 success at the US Open this week.

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Recent results are not always the best indicator in golf, particularly when it comes to major championships.

But it certainly helps to carry some form in with you, and in that sense Michael Campbell will have an empty bag when he tees up at the 112th US Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco on Friday morning (NZT).

Forgetting for a moment that Campbell has missed five of the six cuts at the tournament since his magnificent win at Pinehurst in 2005, his European Tour season tells a sorry tale, one which has seen the TAB open the Kiwi at $500 to win this week, the highest odds of any player in the field.

He's missed eight of nine cuts, banking a measly total of 4531.76 euros from his only payday of the year, a tie for 63rd at the Malaysian Open in April when he closed with a final round 78.

When he was home for the New Zealand Open late last year, he enthused about his ball striking stats in 2011 under new coach Gary Edwin, many of which were the best of his career.

He just wasn't scoring because he was being let down by his putter.

The 43-year-old moved his family from Sydney to Switzerland in an attempt to rediscover his game with a fulltime focus on the European Tour, but the same can be said of 2012.

Campbell's driving accuracy this year is a more than credible 70 per cent, albeit he has lost a little length.

In 2005, when he won the US Open and the world matchplay championship, as well as recording top-10s at the British Open and the PGA Championship, that stat read a rather low 56 per cent.

He's also hitting 62 per cent of greens in regulation in 2012, only three per cent less than his stellar year in 2005.

However, his putting issues remain as troublesome as ever.

He's averaging a career-high 31 putts per round and requiring 1.9 putts per green in regulation, also a career-high stat.

It's those stats which are contributing to a scoring average of 74.70, almost three-over par on the majority of courses.

Add into the mix the fact he has only made the US Open cut once since 2005, in 2007 when he finished in a share of 58th, and Campbell's chances are looking rather grim this week, again.

He'll be a late starter on Friday, with a 1.03pm (8.03am NZT) tee off in a rather low profile group that includes 53-year-old American Olin Browne, who won the US Senior Open last year, and 48-year-old American Joe Durant.

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