WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - Former U.S. Open champion Michael Campbell says he came close to quitting golf a year ago but has found fresh confidence under a new coach.
Campbell's world ranking has slumped to 731 since he won the 2005 U.S. Open but said Wednesday that Australian coach Gary Edwin has revived his confidence and he believes he can still win tournaments.
At home to compete in the New Zealand Open which starts Thursday, the 42-year-old Campbell said he considered quitting a year ago.
"I can't imagine not playing golf," Campbell said. "I considered giving up and asked myself if I still wanted to win? I slept on it and the answer was yes I do."
"I love it so much. I love competing. I love winning golf tournaments. If I felt I could not compete or win again, I would throw it away. Deep down inside I am not a quitter. For me personally I am not ready yet."
Campbell said Edwin had helped to change his outlook over the past year, reviving his self belief after a long period of high scores and missed cuts.
"Changing coaches to Gary Edwin has made a big difference," he said. "It has been a year with him now. It's been a roller-coaster year but I'm patient.
"At one stage before my time with Gary I couldn't see myself winning. There was no way I could visualize myself holding a trophy a year ago but now I can."
Campbell has not made the cut in a major tournament since the 2008 PGA Championship and acknowledged his recent form had been mixed though improving.
"The last couple of weeks have been indifferent but the whole year has been encouraging," he said.
"My stats show that. Fairways hit, greens hit are up since 2005. So it's been my best ball-striking year which has been encouraging indeed."