AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There's struggling, there's really struggling and then there's Michael Campbell. Having missed the cut in all five of the events he had previously entered in 2010, the former U.S. Open champion maintained his "perfect" record with rounds of 83 and 81 in what may well be his final Masters. So bad was Campbell, in fact, that the 20-over par total he reached after making a double bogey at the short 16th was too much for the scorers. Those big green "20s" are apparently hard to come by.
Even Campbell's caddie was having problems keeping tabs on just how many shots his boss had accumulated. As Campbell signed his scorecard, Roy Robinson was asked how they had fared. "Lost count, mate," was the honest reply.
Indeed, Campbell, who has never made the cut in ten Masters appearances (his stroke average is an astronomical 76.15) never looked like adding to the single sub-par round he produced in 2008.
"That was pretty miserable," admitted the New Zealander, who endured a similarly traumatic slump in the late 1990s. "I'm mentally not there. I need to take a month off or six months off -- who knows?
"Whatever I try just doesn't work. I shouldn't be shooting scores like that even if any mistakes are magnified around this course," Campbell said. "I came here with low expectations but you always hope that one day you can turn things round. This is actually the worst I have ever felt about my performance. It's just ridiculous, really."
-- *John Huggan *