It was great to see Michael Campbell stay cool as a cucumber, even as Tiger Woods made one of his legendary charges in the final round. Campbell simply outplayed everyone else, which is what defines a champion. The Kiwi was once regarded as one of the players expected to break through in the U.S. after dominating the European circuit a few years back. It didn’t happen. Just when he falls completely off the radar, he wins the U.S. Open. Amazing. It’ll be interesting to see how the win impacts his reputation among the golf world. He’s not exactly a nobody, but he isn’t a star either. Anyway, golf writers all over the world were falling all over themselves to come up with things to say about Campbell, who most of them knew hardly anything about prior to yesterday. Yes, apparently, he is part Mauri. Yes, he almost gave up the game in 1998 after injuries. Yes, he wouldn’t have even qualified for the US Open if he’d had to come to the US to do it (he played his way in at Walton Heath).Go to Golfobserver.com to see a bunch of sports writers fall all over themselves offering superlatives to a player they didn’t know existed until 5 pm yesterday. Campbell doesn’t make good copy. Not like another major win by Tiger….
Jason Gore: The new tin cup. That’s what fans at Pinehurst were hoping for when the journeyman teed it up on Sunday with Retief Goosen, the leader. Of course Gore fumbled his way to the end, but he was fun to watch on Saturday, I’ll tell you.
Favourite quote of the week: Early leader Olin Browne on how his nine majors stack up against Tiger (care of Cam Cole’s column in the National Post on Friday): “Economics, political science, anthropology, back to economics, political science, anthropology, back to economics, thought about Spanish, wanted to be a marine biologist but organic chemistry cured me of that. English. Learn to read and write; that’s important. What else?” he said, of a post-secondary career at L.A.’s Occidental College that left him with “no clue what I was going to do with my life.
“I started late [in golf]. Really, when I was 19. I got a summer job after my freshman year, and I kind of fell in love with the game, and it’s been a long-term, love-hate relationship.
“I majored in anthropology and nobody was going to hire me, so I stayed in golf. My parents thought I was stark-raving mad because nobody starts when they’re 19 years old. You see a lot of guys with an awful lot of game who don’t crack the Tour. But after a while, I guess my parents threw up their hands and said, ‘It’s his life — whatever!’