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Michael Campbell nets long forgotten bonus

Michael Campbell's big victory at the U.S. Open got a little bit bigger this week, thanks to a 12-year-old deal with a his original backers.

Returning home to New Zealand for the first time since his win at Pinehurst, Campbell was told that the first professional contract he signed with an insurance company in 1993 contained a clause guaranteeing him $10,000 if he won the U.S. Open.

Campbell, who said he had forgotten about the agreement, accepted the bonus and immediately donated it to junior golf programs in New Zealand.

The payment came from AMP, his first corporate sponsor. His victory at Pinehurst prompted company officials to find his original contract, and they discovered that it laid out the U.S. Open bonus.

The contract had run its course several years ago, but AMP officials decided to go ahead and present him with the check this week during his welcome-home ceremonies. Campbell -- who donates all his golf-related earnings in New Zealand to Ronald McDonald House and New Zealand junior golf programs -- immediately turned the money over to New Zealand Golf executives for their junior golf development programs.

The check presentation ceremony was only the latest event in a weeklong celebration of Campbell's victory at Pinehurst. Earlier this week, the New Zealand government honored him with a party hosted by Prime Minister Helen Clark, and last Friday the city of Wellington put on a lunchtime tickertape parade through the downtown area that drew throngs of well-wishers.

After a few days visiting family and friends, Campbell is scheduled to fly back to the United States on Friday in advance of the PGA Championship in New Jersey next week.


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