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Michael Campbell honoured

A day after the disappointment of losing the New Zealand Open at Paraparaumu, Michael Campbell has been invested as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit in Wellington.

Campbell received his award for services to the gamegolf in an emotion-charged ceremony attended by a large contingent of family and friends, including wife Julie and sons Thomas, three, and Jordan, one.

The citation listed Campbell's achievements, including his status in the world top 20, and numerous tournaments titles. He has also been named Maori sportsperson of the year and Maori athlete of the decade.

Campbell showed his gratitude in a spontaneous decision to give all prizemoney he wins in New Zealand to New Zealand Junior Golf and Ronald McDonald House in Wellington.

"I just feel I've been so fortunate, with fantastic support as a junior golfer coming through the ranks. I just hope my contribution to junior golf, as well as (Tiger Woods caddie) Steve Williams', will make it easier for kids to play golf," he said.

Campbell has been a fan of Ronald McDonald House since his sister Michelle stayed there about four years ago when her son Michael was in hospital.

Governor-General Dame Silvia Cartwright, who presented the award, said Campbell was a distinguished New Zealander.

She also emphasised Campbell's other work with young golfers, "giving them the encouragement that he received as a young talented player".


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