Michael Campbell has revealed how he went into the 2005 US Open with one simple goal – to win enough money to buy his dream car!
The Kiwi stunned the golf world when he held off Tiger Woods down the stretch to win his first and only major at Pinehurst 15 years ago.
It denied Woods what would have been a second successive major and propelled Campbell – the last man into the field after he came through international qualifying at Walton Heath – into the world’s top-25.
However, appearing on this week’s episode of The bunkered Podcast, the 51-year-old outlined how his thoughts at the start of the week were consumed not so much by majors as motors.
“One thing I did when I was playing a lot, when I was active, was I had a goal for every week,” said Campbell. “Like break 30 putts in every round or hit 12 fairways or greens or whatever. So, every time I played a golf tournament, I had a goal.
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“I was flying from Gatwick Airport to North Carolina [for the US Open]. It’s like a ten-hour flight and I was writing my goals for that week and this is bizarre but I said okay, if I finish in the top-10, I’m going to buy myself a Porsche because I love Porsches, I love cars. That was my goal. It wasn’t to hit extra fairways or less putts or whatever you want to call it. It was actually a car.”
Luckily for Campbell, he took to the No.2 Course at Pinehurst almost immediately.
“I remember my first practice round and every single hole, which is very unusual, I really liked. It suited my eye. It wasn’t a long golf course, it was tough, it had tiny greens. I knew that the most important thing that week would be distance control with my irons but the motivation was to win that Porsche. So what I did was write ‘911’ on my golf ball.
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“I was visualising this Porsche 911, steel grey, red calipers, white wheels, engine upgrade. After two rounds, I’m something like seventh, so I’m thinking, ‘Okay, maybe a Carrera 4S’. After a third round, I’m thinking, ‘Maybe a GTS’. I kid you not, in that last round, I was visualising the interior of the car, the shape of the exhaust and all that stuff, and the rest is history.”
• To listen to the full interview with Michael Campbell – and to find out the extremely unusual thing he consumed from his replica US Open trophy most recently – listen to the latest episode of The bunkered Podcast, available now from all good podcast platforms.