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Michael Campbell named European Tour Golfer of the Year

New Zealander Michael Campbell was announced as 2005 European Tour Golfer of the Year on Monday after capturing the U.S. Open and World Match Play Championship.

Campbell had to go through regional qualifying in England to win through to the U.S. Open proper at Pinehurst in June but he beat an elite field including world number one Tiger Woods to claim his first major title.

He followed up in October with victory over Ireland's Paul McGinley in the World Match Play at Wentworth to win a 1 million pound jackpot.

Campbell, 36, also finished runner-up to Briton Colin Montomerie in the Tour's Order of Merit and rocketed from 80th in the world to 15th to win the media and Tour-based panel's vote as player of the year.

"I have great memories of winning my first Major in the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No.2 and capturing the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth," said Campbell.

"Those were satisfying accomplishments and this award provides the perfect end to the perfect year for both myself and my family."

George O'Grady, the Tour's executive director, added: "There were many highlights during a superb season, and Michael's victory in the U.S. Open captured the imagination of golf observers the world over."

December 6, 2005

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