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Michael Campbell wants PGA Tour limits changed

U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell wants the USPGA Tour to lift a playing restriction imposed on the New Zealander after he failed to complete the mandatory 15 events in 2003.

The Tour handed the New Zealander a three-year restriction at the start of 2004 after he competed in just 10 events in 2003. Campbell says the limit of 10 events imposed on him for 2006 will affect the defence of his U.S. Open crown.

"Sometimes I feel my wings have been clipped but I am my own boss and I believe that I should be able to do what I want.

"Obviously what I did three years ago, in not completing 15 events on the US Tour, has really affected my 2006 schedule now I am U.S. Open champion.

"What happens if Jack Nicklaus invites me to play his Memorial tournament but I can't because of my status?" Campbell told reporters ahead of this week's Johnnie Walker Classic.

"I also want to go to Westchester and play the Barclays Classic the week before the U.S. Open as it is only 30 minutes from the U.S. Open at Winged Foot, but I can't."

In Campbell's 10 events at the start of 2003, he missed the halfway cut in nine and was disqualified from the Players Championship.

Campbell has met with PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem to discuss the issue but has yet to hear a response.

"I met with the Tour about two months ago and I still shake my head. I could not believe I was sitting in front of these guys from the Tour and the things they were saying to me, and it was not right," said Campbell.

"Tim said we would talk in a month's time but I haven't heard from him since.

"Sometimes it is important to voice your opinion, and now since becoming champion, my opinion matters. Now it's like, people want to listen to me.

"All I am asking for is a favour from the Tour and to be more flexible."

Campbell was supported by two times U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen of South Africa, who said Finchem should make an exemption in Campbell's case.

"It's Finchem's loss and it's Cambo's loss, as well," said Goosen.

"It's Finchem who should make an exemption allowing Cambo to play in more events, as those events would love to have the US Open champion in their field."

Campbell won his first major in 2005 when claiming the title by two shots from Tiger Woods at Pinehurst in North Carolina.

The 106th U.S. Open Championship will be held at Winged Foot Golf Club from June 15-18.

February 9, 2006

 




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