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Campbell to pursue PGA Tour hopes

Michael Campbell begins the defence of his European Open title on Thursday still hoping to make a success of playing on the U.S. Tour.

The 34-year-old New Zealander has missed the cut in all nine American Tour events he has played this year, including the U.S. Masters and U.S. Open.

"I decided to give America a try but found it wasn't really for me," said Campbell, who has been plagued by a shoulder injury.

"But I have another five or six (tournaments) to play in America this year and things can change so quickly.

"It is a case of trying to believe in yourself and I know I'm good enough to win tournaments around the world."

Campbell hopes to improve on his lowly 148th place in the European rankings, while Padraig Harrington, his main rival last year at the K Club, can pass Ernie Els on top of the money-list with a victory worth $550,000.

The Irishman is more interested in winning in Ireland this week and performing well in majors, however. Last year he lost his chance of catching Campbell at the final hole by going into water on the way to the 17th of his 19 career second places.

"It's too early for thinking about the order of merit," said Harrington. "There are a lot of other things to focus on.

"When the four majors are over, that's when you start to play for the order of merit if you're in position."

Harrington said he would not have been able to live with myself if he had not gone for broke on the last hole, even if his hopes perished in the lake.

Darren Clarke, the winner of the event two years ago who shot a course record 60 at the K Club in 1999, is likely to be a strong challenger.

A strong field also includes seven-times European No. 1 Colin Montgomerie, England's Justin Rose, German Bernhard Langer, current European number one Retief Goosen and last month's U.S. Open runner-up Stephen Leaney.

 

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