Cape Town - Former major champion Michael Campbell will play in the New
Zealand Open early next year, breaking the shackles of his retirement.
The 2005 US Open winner will feature at the Millbrook Resort and The
Hills courses at the 100th New Zealand Open in February. The Kiwi last
played competitive golf in 2015, after which he retired with 15
professional wins next to his name.
"I'm very excited to start the next chapter of my golfing career at the 100th NZ Open in Queenstown," the 49-year-old told the Stuff website.
"It's been three years since I retired and I now plan to join the
Senior Tour. I can't miss the New Zealand Open, it's a true celebration
of a great achievement in golf. To come back and play in the centenary
is very special.
"I really don't know what to expect because I haven't competed for
such a long time. I want to be there to support the New Zealand Open,
it's going to be a lot of fun."
Campbell spent 22 years on the professional circuit and admitted to being a touch burnt out, citing reasons for his retirement.
"I was burnt out a little bit, plus I was going through an injury and
a divorce, so there was a lot of stuff going through my mind and I just
thought ok, it's time to have a break, which I've really enjoyed and
now it's time to get back on the road again and just enjoy what's ahead
of me," added the Wellington native.
"Behind the scenes it's a tough career. It's very selfish, you're
always away from your family, I was always on the road, different
hotels, on an aeroplane, it's very, very hard.
"People don't see that, all they see is us winning tournaments and
all this money, and playing wonderful golf courses. The first emotion
that came to mind after I won the US Open - I thought to myself 'wow, it
took me a long time to do this'. Because I've worked so hard on it."