Golf: Campbell in etiquette storm

Michael Campbell. Photo / Getty Images
Michael Campbell. Photo / Getty Images

New Zealand golfer Michael Campbell has attracted media criticism not only for his ignominious departure from the US Open in California, but also for his breach of etiquette at the Pebble Beach course.

"Michael Campbell's golf game is as deplorable as his behaviour," the Oakland Tribune newspaper reported yesterday, while the Boston Herald headlined its story: "New Zealand's Michael Campbell should have known better".

They noted that five years after his US Open victory at Pinehurst, the 41-year-old New Zealander had stumbled from one mishap to another at Pebble Beach.

No fewer than 10 bogeys and one double bogey littered his card in a second round of 12-over 83 which left him on 19-over 161 for the championship, a distant 12 shots short of the cut in 152nd place in the 156-player field.

As well, Campbell reportedly also ditched golf protocol en route to a par on the 18th hole.

He played up the fairway while Paul Goydos retreated to hit a second tee shot, and Campbell then putted out - first from the front fringe, then from within 30cm of the hole - before his playing partners reached the green.

"This, from an Open champion?," reported Oakland Tribune columnist Cam Inman.

"Campbell declined interview requests outside the scorer's trailer and fled to the back seat of a getaway shuttle."

One scorer following Campbell's group aptly explained the carnage: "Bogey train, and it was brutal."

Campbell made bogey on nine of the first 13 holes. His sole double bogey came on the 16th followed by a bogey on the next.

He has now missed the cut in four of the past five US Opens - and 11 of 16 majors.

"His Open exemption lasts another five years," Inman wrote.

"Don't expect him back at Pebble Beach in 2019."

Before the first round at the championship, Campbell had told journalists "I just want to have fun" when asked about his expectations for Pebble Beach.

"That's something that has been missing in my game over the last few years. I've been putting too many expectations and pressure on myself and am keen to just enjoy the moment of being part of the US Open in 2010."

- NZPA

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