Madrid Magic Awaits Campbell
Bernie McGuire, Madrid
Wednesday 5th Ocotober, 2011
Michael Campbell will be hoping there will be some Madrid magic this week as he winds up his season competing on the European Tour.
The Madrid Masters on the new El Encin course to the north-east of the Spanish capital is Campbell's last before he heads south of the equator for the 2011-12 Australasian Tour season.
It is the first occasion Campbell has contested the event. Campbell is among a number of former Major champions competing in Madrid headed by double Augusta National winning and current European Ryder Cup captain, Jose Maria Olazabal.
Also in the field is the former Open Championship winning pair of John Daly and Paul Lawrie.
Campbell will contest the opening two rounds in the company of Scotland's Steven O'Hara and Sweden's Magnus Carlsson.
As well, World No. 1 Luke Donald who is the defending champion. Donald could have easily elected to return to the States to contest the $US 5m PGA Tour event in California.
Instead, the 33-year old is in the Spanish capital for a £863,000 event and a first prize cheque of £143,300 that is £439,000 less than what the winner will get in the States.
“Winning Madrid last year was my only tournament win of 2010 so I am wanted to come back and defend to support the event and the European Tour,” he said.
“But it is still difficult to play both tour’s as I do and not having played too many in Europe up to now, it is important for me to play a few before having some time off in about five week’s when our second baby is born.”
And with Donald on target to become the first player ever to top the money list in both Europe and the States, he indicated he will continue to play both tour’s to be assured of playing in the Ryder Cup.
“I would never want to miss the Ryder Cup and if I was not a member of the European Tour that would make me ineligible,” he said.
“Also playing a global schedule as I do, and playing in different regions, has made me a better golfer.
“I’ve also made my home in the States. My wife and child were born in the States. My coach lives in the States and it would be a big upheaval to leave the States and play just Europe.”
Donald is the first reigning World No. 1 since fellow Englishman Nick Faldo in 1993 to tee up in Madrid.
“Hopefully, I can win six majors like Nick did and then maybe this week good be a good omen,” said Donald.