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Campbell pulls out of US Open

Michael Campbell with the US Open trophy in 2005. He will not be returning to Pinehurst next month

Michael Campbell with the US Open trophy in 2005. He will not be returning to Pinehurst next month

Michael Campbell has announced that he will not return to the scene of his US Open triumph at Pinehurst next month.

The New Zealander is taking a break from competitive golf to deal with issues in his private life after announcing he and his wife have separated.

Campbell caused a huge upset in 2005 when he held off Tiger Woods to clinch a memorable one-shot victory at Pinehurst No 2 in North Carolina.

He won the HSBC World Match Play Championship later that year, but that remains his last professional victory worldwide.

The 45-year-old has been sidelined since missing the cut in Abu Dhabi in January after undergoing surgery on an ankle injury.

Campbell has returned to practice, but he admitted he is not “physically or mentally ready to play tournament golf”.

He also confirmed he will miss next week’s BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, and he has not set a date for his return to action.

In a statement on his website, Campbell said: “Sorry I have been off the radar since playing at the 2014 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

“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 forward – 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 became only the second New Zealander after Bob Charles to win a major with his victory at Pinehurst nine years ago.

But his form has taken a dramatic downturn since, and he made only five cuts on the European Tour last season.

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