Cambo’s no fan of our weather

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - KRIS DANDO

Michael Camp­bell didn’t have a round of golf last week be­cause of that freez­ing cold Welling­ton wind.

The 47-year-old was back in his home­town of Porirua for a fly­ing visit and found time for a quick chat and coach­ing ses­sion with Eisen­hower Tro­phy play­ers Ryan Chis­nall and Luke Toomey in Up­per Hutt, and with Daniel Hil­lier at Ti­tahi Golf Club.

‘‘Jack Nick­laus told me af­ter I won the US Open [in 2005] that you have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to give back, teach oth­ers some of what you’ve learnt,’’ Camp­bell said. ’’I’ve never for­got­ten that and al­though I was back here for an­other rea­son, talk­ing to those young guys was im­por­tant.’’

Based in Mara­bella, Spain, these days, the main rea­son he was back was to cel­e­brate his fa­ther Tom’s 69th birth­day.

A friend’s fa­ther re­cently died, so Camp­bell de­cided fly­ing home was worth ev­ery penny.

‘‘He didn’t know I was com­ing. I was in an­other room and my sis­ter said, ‘I’ve brought you a present’, and out I came. I think I nearly gave him a heart at­tack.’’

Camp­bell hasn’t been back to New Zealand for 18 months. He said it was al­ways fan­tas­tic to come home - but he did not miss the cold.

In south­ern Spain the tem­per­a­ture never drops below 20 de­grees Cel­sius.

‘‘I was think­ing about a round [of golf] this week, but I can’t face it, mate, it’s just too cold. I’m older and spoilt now.

‘‘But the mem­o­ries of grow­ing up here in the Bay flood back, like play­ing this [Ti­tahi] course. It was a spe­cial place for a kid.’’

In three years time Camp­bell is el­i­gi­ble for the United States Se­niors Tour.

Good friends Retief Goosen and Mike Weir will be also tak­ing up the op­por­tu­nity and Camp­bell said the ca­ma­raderie and com­pet­i­tive na­ture of tour­na­ment golf held some ap­peal.

The at­trac­tion of three rounds per tour­na­ment - not four - and us­ing golf carts was a bonus, he said.

‘‘Af­ter I quit three years ago, I didn’t play for 18 months and I didn’t miss it.

‘‘I’ve worked hard at my [golf] academies and I do tele­vi­sion work for Sky and Fox, so I’m busy. But it won’t be hard to get go­ing again.

‘‘I’m com­pet­i­tive by na­ture, even chess with my son or cards with the fam­ily gets heated.’’

Camp­bell is look­ing for­ward to watch­ing the Ry­der Cup from Septem­ber 27, pit­ting the best Euro­pean golfers against the top United States play­ers.

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