Campbell withdraws from 2014 U.S. Open

Michael Campbell won the 2005 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

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Michael Campbell will not return to the scene of his greatest moment in golf. The 2005 U.S. Open champion has pulled out of next month’s U.S. Open at Pinehurst after splitting up with his wife Julie, admitting he is not “mentally ready.”

The New Zealander hasn’t played competitively since the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January, where he missed the cut. Rumors have abounded that he was experiencing marriage problems. Campbell has confirmed those rumors.

"Sorry I have been off the radar since playing at the 2014 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship,” Campbell announced on his website.

"I have had some problems with a tendon in my left ankle that stopped me from playing for two to three 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.

"I look forward to seeing you all out on the course later in the summer!"

The couple married in 1996 and have two children, Thomas and Jordan.

Campbell became only the second New Zealander to win a major championship following Bob Charles’ 1963 Open Championship victory. He qualified for the 2005 U.S. Open with a birdie on the last at Walton Heath to take one of the last spots into Pinehurst.

The 45-year-old went on to win the World Match Play Championship at Wentworth that year to take the first-place check of £1 million. He has not won since then and only made five of 17 cuts last year, finishing 173rd on the European money list.

Campbell reached a career high of 12th on the Official World Golf Ranking in May 2001. He is now ranked 520th.

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