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Way To Go Michael Campbell

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Contributor:
Stan Sutherland
Stan Sutherland
Michael Campbell. Pic: NZPA

“Way to go” isn’t intended as cheerleading to encourage Michael to win the U.S. Open. Instead it’s a piece of information which if he applies and complies with will help him win or come close to winning at Bethpage Black.

The following stats come courtesy of golfobserver.com and in particular their correspondent Sal Johnson.

All that’s required so that you can once again return home as a Kiwi conquering hero is to:

Come 36th in driving distance. Yeah I’m aware that Bethpage Black is brutally long. And yes it’s going to be even longer since it’s already very wet and they are predicting rain for most days.

However I rest my driving distance case with the information that in 1997 Ernie Els was 55th in driving distance when he won at the Congressional Country Club. And Payne Stewart was 50th when he won at Pinehurst.

But do try to improve your “fairways hit.” 32 out of 56 may have been good enough at Pinehurst but by all accounts the soggy rough at Bethpage Black will be a real test.

To win by only hitting 41 out of 72 greens in regulation is testament to your great short game and the Bethpage Black greens are not nearly as tough as Pinehurst. Fewer contours and with no Donald Ross designed inverted-saucer shaped profiles. And because of the wet conditions they’re not going to be nearly as fast as Augusta

Fourth in putting with 113 putts suggests your putting was OK but not what you’d call “red hot putting.”

Take note, Angel Cabrera’s 124 putts was good enough for his win at Oakmont.

Taken as a whole your Pinehurst stats and those of other winners in recent years going back to 1996 indicate that you don’t have to be firing on all cylinders. In fact the stats tend to suggest that you don’t so much as win the U.S. Open, it’s due to golfers losing it; e.g. Monty at Winged Foot.

As for the guy with the Kiwi caddie, yes he does look unbeatable and he sure knows how to win rather than lose. But golf’s a funny game; no make that a cruel game, especially when the USGA are involved in setting up the course and the (local) rules.

Word has it that regardless of the wet conditions the USGA, unlike the PGA, will not permit clean and place. So who knows what will happen to the best of shots hit by the greatest golfer of the modern era when there’s a glob of gooey mud sticking to his ball as it flies towards its intended target.

“Way to go Michael!” (Cheerleading intended).

Your country needs you. After the All Blacks losing to France and the Twenty/20 team underperforming in England, it desperately needs someone to cheer it up.

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