Michael Campbell of New Zealand reacted after winning the 105th U.S. Openat the Pinehurst Resort and Country Club.
Campbell to open 2006 at Kapalua
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. » U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell will make his 2006 debut next month in the Mercedes Championship at Kapalua.
Take away the majors, World Golf Championships and The Players Championship, and that leaves him only one other PGA Tour event he can play.
Despite winning a major, Campbell's options on the PGA Tour are limited because of a bad year in 2003.
As a New Zealand native, he claimed "home circuit" status on the PGA Tour two years ago, meaning he did not need a release to compete overseas provided he played at least 15 times on tour. Campbell quit after playing 14 events, and it has cost him.
"The penalty for using the home circuit exception and not satisfying the requirements is immediate forfeiture of membership the following year, and for five years, he can play only 10 tournaments as a nonmember," said Andy Pazder, the tour's vice president of competition.
Campbell was at a low point in 2003. He made only five cuts in his 14 tour events, and three of those were at WGC events that had no cuts. He was disqualified at The Players Championship after opening with an 89.
"I played (bad)," he said. "I had no house to go to. I was traveling with the family, two kids. It made me crazy. So I went back to England, to the European tour, and I won about a month later at the Irish Open. That told me it was time to pack up my bags and get back to England."
Campbell sought a compromise with the tour, asking if he could play 12 or 13 events in 2006.
Because he could not commit to 15 tournaments, his request was denied.
The only other regular tournament he will play is the Bay Hill Invitational.
"I want to play Memorial, but I can't play that now because of my restrictions," Campbell said. "I feel that my wings have been clipped a little bit. I want to be a global player.
"I want to play in Europe and Australia and different parts of the world. But I couldn't commit to 15 events."
Kerr left behind: It looks as if the only way Cristie Kerr will ever to get to the Women's World Cup is to be the highest-ranked American on the LPGA Tour money list.
Kerr finished fifth on the list last year, one spot behind Meg Mallon, but Mallon chose 30th-ranked Beth Daniel as her partner in South Africa. Mallon and Daniel are good friends and have played in a half-dozen matches together at the Solheim Cup.
Kerr finished third on the money list this year, one spot behind 19-year-old rookie Paula Creamer, who will go to South Africa with Natalie Gulbis.
"We've got similar games and get along," Creamer said. "I'm going over with someone I feel comfortable with."
Creamer went 3-1-1 at the Solheim Cup to lead the Americans to victory over Europe. One of those points came with Kerr, a 1-up victory in better ball against Catriona Matthew and Carin Koch. Creamer and Gulbis played together in the Lexus Cup earlier this month, winning a better-ball match.
Global Tiger: Tiger Woods is the most global player among Americans, and his schedule next year might include the most overseas events of his career.
Woods already has committed to the Dubai Desert Classic in early February, and said he will return to Japan to defend his title in the Dunlop Phoenix. He said he probably would return to Shanghai for the HSBC Champions event in November, and he is leaning toward playing the HSBC World Match Play Championship in England.
"And don't forget the American Express," Woods said, noting that it will be played next year just north of London. Woods is the defending champion.
Throw in the British Open, and that could be six overseas tournaments.
The most he has played in any year, including the British Open and American Express Championship, is five times in 1998, 1999 and 2002.
European cycle: Europeans still have not cracked the Big Five in the world ranking, with Sergio Garcia of Spain the best hope at No. 6. But the outlook is much brighter than a year ago.
Padraig Harrington once attributed the European slide to a mere cycle, and he might be right.
A year ago, only four Europeans were among the top 20 in the world ranking.
Now there are eight in the top 22, from the resurgent Colin Montgomerie to the younger players such as Luke Donald and David Howell.
"We didn't have many in the top 20 at the start of the year. Now there are a whole bunch," Montgomerie said. "We've done well to get back into it now. We went through a period in the early '90s where Europe held the top five places in the world rankings, and now we're coming back."
The best measure might be at the Ryder Cup, where the United States typically has far more players at the top of the rankings than Europe.
Stat of the week: The points difference between Tiger Woods and Vijay Singh at Nos. 1 and 2 in the world ranking is equal to the difference of Singh and Peter Lonard at No. 46.
Singh missing from Sony Open field
The world's No. 2 player has not yet told officials he'll defend his title on Jan. 12-15
Vijay Singh, the world's No. 2-ranked golfer, has not yet committed to defend his title in next month's Sony Open at Waialae Country Club.
He has until Friday, Jan. 6 to make his intentions known.
Singh intends to play in the Mercedes Championships, Jan. 5-8 at Kapalua, Maui, but Sony Open officials don't know whether he'll be playing at the Waialae Country Club Jan. 12-15.
Singh will spend the middle of January in the Middle East, skipping the PGA Tour's first swing through California.
He has committed to play in the inaugural Abu Dhabi Golf Championship, Jan. 19-22 and the Qatar Masters, Jan. 26-29. Those joint European and Asian tour events conflict with the PGA Tour's Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in La Quinta, Calif., and the Buick Invitational in La Jolla, Calif.
Singh has never played in the Chrysler Classic but has played in the Buick Invitational four times without winning.
Singh has earned $1,519,308 in the Mercedes Championships in his career and $1,149,086 in the Sony Open, including $864,000 for last year's victory.