Michael Campbell Past U.S. Open Champion Michael Campbell eyes next month's Irish Open

Michael Campbell, the winner of the 2005 U.S. Open, is setting his sights on next month's Irish Open at Adare Manor Hotel and Golf Resort, a tournament he last won four years ago.

"I always enjoy playing in that part of the world and I've had a lot of success in Ireland," he said in a press release. "The crowds and people are very hospitable and it's always very well organized. I played at Adare in JP's Pro-Am and it's a good, fun golf course.

"The win in 2003 [Irish Open] was huge for me," Campbell added. "I had tried to play over in America but came back that year with the mindset of just playing The European Tour. That's when I started playing great and won at Portmarnock."

Campbell's success in America took a huge turn in 2005, when he managed to hold of a charge from Tiger Woods at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina to win the U.S. Open, the first New Zealander to win a major golf title since Bob Charles in 1963.

How big was that victory? New Zealand's parliament reportedly went into recess so that it could watch the Open drama play out.

Campbell has had a strong record in Ireland. Besides winning the 2003 Open in Portmarnock, the year before he took home the Smurfit European Open at The K Club, which hosted last year's Ryder Cup matches.

Campbell's triumph at Portmarnock four years ago heralded his return to form after struggling to compete on the American tour. The victory edged him past Frank Nobilo as New Zealand's most successful golfer on the European Tour.

Campbell has eight wins on the European Tour.

The Irish Open will run from May 17-20.

April 18, 2007

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