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A hectic time in store for Michael Campbell

Shaken New Zealand golfer Michael Campbell turned to Tiger Woods for locker room advice after sealing victory in the US Open at Pinehurst yesterday.

After sealing his first major victory, the overcome New Zealander retreated to the bathroom to calm his nerves.

He ended up at a hand basin alongside world No 1 Woods, the American who has won nine majors and was denied another by Campbell yesterday.

"I took a look at myself in the mirror and tried to slow myself down a little bit," Campbell told NewstalkZB today.

"I was washing my hands and washing my face, and Tiger was there at the next basin.

"I said 'Tiger how do you do this? This is too stressful, I can't do this too often … you've done it nine times - I've done it just once!'

"He said, 'Well done, it takes a bit of luck too'. It's very very true, you have to be lucky to win major championships."

Campbell began to feel his time had come when his tee shot at the eighth bounced off a spectator and back into play.

Without that break he faced a difficult second shot. He was able to restrict the damage to a bogey, and stay on course for a two-shot win over Woods.

Campbell said life had been hectic in the hours after the win. He has been unable to celebrate with his wife and two boys, who were at home in England.

He was due to appear on the David Letterman show in the US today.

"I've had a wonderful experience in winning a major championship and to be part of history now," he said.

"I look on the Cup itself and that's got people I admired when I was growing up Ben Hogan and Jack Nicklaus and all these famous other golfers, to be associated with them is overwhelming.

"It's going to be great to go home and share it with everybody else. Hey, if I can do it so can they with a bit of direction."

Campbell, 36, shied away from debate over whether his was the greatest sporting feat by a New Zealander.

"That's hard to say, it's not my thing to say -- I'll be probably biased," he said

"It's probably on par with Sir Bob Charles' win back in 1963, I believe. To be a part of New Zealand sporting history is a great honour."

Campbell, who lifted his world ranking from 80 to 23 with the win, came close to winning the British Open in 1995.

He led with one round to play, only to drop to third behind big-hitting American John Daly.

"It wasn't meant to be, it wasn't my time, " Campbell said of 1995.

"Yesterday it was my time -- all mine! I was ready to win a big one."

 

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