Michael Campbell of New Zealand reacts after winning the 2005 U.S. Open Championship at Pinehurst No. 2. (AP Photo)
Michael Campbell, who would have been a defending champion of sorts at the season's second major at Pinehurst No. 2 next month, has pulled out of the tournament, citing injuries and a recent separation from his wife.
The New Zealander, who won the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst but saw his form take a dizzying freefall soon after, has not played since shooting 78-79 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January. He posted a brief explanation on his website.
I have had some problems with a tendon in my left ankle that stopped me from playing for 2 to 3 months. The good news is that I am back swinging and now managing to play 18 holes.
On a personal note, I have some sad news. Unfortunately Julie and I have separated. Our children remain our number one focus as we move forwards - as parents first and foremost while remaining both friends and business partners.
As I do not feel that I am either fully physically or mentally ready to play tournament golf at the highest level, after much deliberation, I have decided not to play in the BMW PGA Championship, the US Open or the events in between. I want to get back to my best and I believe this is the best strategy to achieve this.
Campbell has been in the throes of a major slump for most of the last nine years, with his ranking dropping into the low 400s. He recently invited writer John Garrity to his lavish home on Spain's Costa del Sol for a lengthy profile which appeared in the June issue of Golf Magazine.
“I’ve had time to reflect on what’s happened and think about my future,” Campbell said in the article. “I’m not quitting -- competition is my passion, I love kissing a trophy at the end of the week -- but twenty years of playing this game at the highest level takes its toll, physically and mentally. I’m--”
He hesitated, searching for the right phrase. “I’m beginning a new chapter in life.”
For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.