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Michael Campbell not worried by recent form

Local fans at the Michael Hill New Zealand Open in Queenstown shouldn't lose any sleep over Michael Campbell's shaky recent form, because the man himself is completely at ease.

Far from losing any sleep over a horror 12-over-par 84 at the Australian Masters which saw him comfortably miss the cut, Campbell says it's all par for the course in a career that has had more peaks and troughs than any course he's played over the years.

"It's history now. Every week is a new week for us and looking at my form over years, even since I was an amateur, my form has been hot and cold. I missed five cuts before winning the US Open," Campbell said.

"The point of power is in the present time and right now I'm here and looking forward to playing this week. As a sportsman you go through good times and bad times, and hopefully you learn from the bad times. Once I get through this barrier I think I'll be an even better player."

In fact, the failure to qualify for the weekend's rounds at Huntingdale actually allowed him the luxury of working on his swing before heading across the Tasman.

"Every cloud has a silver lining. I worked with my coach, who flew over from America and we went to Sydney and worked a couple of days there and really knuckled down and worked on my swing. Hopefully it'll bear fruit this week."

Just to prove the old adage of 'when it rains, it pours' that often relates to Campbell, he arrived safely in the country early this week but a 'scary moment' ensued when it was discovered his clubs had not.

They thankfully arrived in time for a practice round on Tuesday and allowed him to test out the course before the action starts on Thursday.

As always when he appears in a New Zealand Open, expectation is rife among local followers but Campbell reckons that works in his favour on a course that he arguably knows better than anyone else in the tournament.

"I've got a huge advantage over the rest of the field in that I'm a favourite to win this week."

"I really feed off the positivity from the media, the crowds and the supporters - it's like a 15th club in my bag playing in the New Zealand Open really."

"I walked the course with Michael Hill about seven months ago and I loved the course itself. It's a great venue so I'm looking forward to the next four or five days."

"The thing I like about the course is the variation - there's short holes, long holes, ones that veer to the left and right, there's reachable par 5's and there's no real pitfalls."

Despite recent talk of a lack of world-class names assembled in Queenstown, Campbell is under no illusions that winning a second NZ Open - he won his first title at Paraparaumu Beach in 2000 - will be a walk in the park.

"Daniel Chopra is in great form now in winning on the US Tour and finishing second last week [at Huntingdale], but there's a lot of good young kids out here playing this week."

"There's been talk of a weak field but I think it's all positive."


November 27, 2007

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