Golf: Campbell eyes Rio Olympics

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

Michael Campbell has won 15 international titles throughout his career but now has his eyes set on something he's never done - competing at the Olympics.

Campbell, who has failed to reach the incredible heights of his career in recent years, was a guest at an International Golf Federation event in England marking the start of the new Olympic cycle which will see golf restored to the Games in Rio in 2016.

At his best, the 43-year-old from Titahi Bay in Wellington has always been a world-beater. And now he's inspired to add an Olympic gold medal to his trophy room that he calls "my ego room" which includes replicas of the Eisenhower, New Zealand Open and US Open trophies.

"How good must it feel to have that gold medal dangling around your neck?"Campbell said.

"I've been lucky enough to lift the US Open trophy and to experience that unbelievable feeling of winning a major championship, but I can already sense in the locker rooms around the world that a lot of people are going to be desperate to claim the first gold medal in golf in over a hundred years."

Campbell, only the second New Zealand golfer after Sir Bob Charles to win a major, told the European Tour website he has been a keen spectator of the London Games.

"For the past three weeks I've had square eyes from watching the London Olympics and, without doubt, it's been one of the greatest sporting spectacles I've witnessed.

"We've seen the incredible passion for every conceivable sport during the Games - from the competitors to the spectators - and the energy and enthusiasm for the Olympics has had an effect on so many people.

"If this passion can be transmitted to golf in 2016 then it has to be great for our sport."

Campbell, who will be 47 at the when Rio rolls around, still holds the desire to compete.

"Look at what the tennis gold meant to Andy Murray. I speak to other golfers at tournaments and I can sense the enthusiasm for Rio.

"Whoever wins the men's and women's gold medals will go into the history books. After the spectacle we've just witnessed in London I, for one, can't wait."

- APNZ

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