Cambo calls it a day


By Denise Langdon of PaR nz Golfing Holidays in Auckland 

After a rough couple of years, 2005 US Open winner Michael Campbell made public his retirement from the professional golf circuit.

One of our most successful sportsmen, Campbell launched his professional career more than 20 years ago after New Zealand’s win in the 1992 Eisenhower Trophy. 'Cambo', as he is widely known, along with Stephen Scahill, Grant Moorhead and Phillip Tataurangi achieved an historic win of the prestigious tournament, and fulfilled a dream of the late Grant Clements, the former CEO of the then NZGA. The Kiwis came from two shots behind the beat the Americans, who had dominated the tournament for some years.

In the same year, Cambo won the Australian Amateur and a year later, in 1993, he turned professional. While Cambo is remembered for his incredible US Open victory at Pinehurst, defeating none other than Tiger Woods, his career held many highlights.

His wins included three on the European Challenge Tour in 1994, as well as the 1995 Dunhill Masters and the 1999 Johnny Walker Classic. Four wins in 2000 included the New Zealand Open, Australian Masters, German Masters and the Heineken Classic to finish 14 on the world ranking and fourth on the European Order of Merit.

The Heineken Classic was his again in 2001, followed by the European Open in 2002 and the 2003 Irish Open. However, 2005 was his crowning glory with the US Open title, World Match Play and two other top seven finishes in the majors. Cambo ended 2006 with a world ranking of 25. Sadly, he did not win after 2005 and his world rankings slipped to an all-time low of 249 in 2009. The past couple of years, including a publicised marriage break-up, have not been kind to him either. Nonetheless, he is recognised as one of New Zealand sports' elite.

Michael Campbell was inaugurated in the New Zealand Golf Hall of Fame in 2010 along with Sir Bob Charles. Along with being remembered for his masterful playing abilities, Cambo is known for his wide smile and a generous nature that has seen him contribute much to junior golf and the Michael Campbell Golf Foundation. We wish him well in his next endeavours.