U.S. Open champ Campbell wins World Match Play title
by Associated Press
VIRGINIA WATER, England (AP) - U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell won the World Match Play Championship on Sunday, defeating Paul McGinley 2 and 1 in the final by capitalizing on his opponent's errors in the closing holes.
Campbell wrapped up the match at Wentworth with a chip to 1 foot of the cup on the 35th green. He won the 33rd and 34th holes when McGinley bogeyed after poor shots.
"I was fortunate to win those holes," Campbell said.
Campbell earned $1.8 million, the largest prize in golf. The New Zealander also advanced to the top of the European Order of Merit ahead of Retief Goosen. Campbell beat the South African in the semifinals Saturday.
Campbell won the opening hole and never trailed, but also never led by more than one through the morning round. He was 3 up after 23 holes, but his Irish rival won the 24th, 25th and 27th to square the match. They were still even with four to play.
"I didn't play as well today as I had the first three days," McGinley said. "If this was a stroke play event I'd have been well ahead because I played so well the first three days. But that's the way it goes. Michael played well today."
McGinley also finished second at the BMW Championship on the same course in May to Angel Cabrera, his semifinal victim at this event.
"It hurts like you can't believe that I finished second in two big tournaments here," said McGinley, the hero of Europe's 2002 Ryder Cup victory at The Belfry. "I'm bitterly disappointed."
On the 34th hole, McGinley pushed a 5-iron approach to the right and lost the hole to a par. At the next hole, he pulled his drive deep into the trees, from where he could only play out sideways for another bogey.
"Over the two rounds today I made a lot of course management mistakes, four or five times," McGinley said. "You can't miss it right on 15 when the pin is on the left. And you can't hit it left on 16. Those two cost me."
The long 30th also was crucial. Campbell's second shot sailed left and finished near a barbed-wire fence, 6 inches from being out of bounds. But he was able to play a chip to 5 feet and holed for a birdie to win it. McGinley had a par.
"If I win the hole, to have gone from 3 down to 1 up in a few holes would have been massive psychologically," McGinley said. "I might have won from there."