Campbell might yet become next big thing

RICHARD ZUSSMAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:21 PM ET

From Sidney Crosby to LeBron James to Peyton Manning, the label of the "next big thing" gets passed around in every sport.

Chad Campbell once had the distinction of having the title "golf's next big star" thrust upon him and all of the pressure and attention that went with it.

"A Sports Illustrated article put that on me," a relaxed Campbell said Friday after shooting a second-round 67 at the RBC Canadian Open.

The big Texan has always been close to reaching the pinnacle of golf. He has two top-three finishes at the Masters and one really close call at the PGA Championship.

In 2003, a few weeks after the "next big thing" label was thrust upon him, Campbell went into the final round of the PGA tied for the lead. He arrived at the 18th tee down by one to eventual winner Shaun Micheel. Campbell made par, Micheel birdie and golf's chosen one was left to watch another pro lift the trophy.

"It has been a while now but I will never forget it," Campbell said. "Me and Shaun played great golf."

After a few lean years -- Campbell is winless since 2007 -- the 37-year-old seems to have his game going into the right direction again.

He was the early leader Friday, sitting at four-under through two rounds, having hit 23 of Shaughnessy's 28 rough-lined fairways.

"It is a tough golf course, it is a tough test, everyone knew that coming in," Campbell said.

Many players might envy Campbell's career -- four wins, and appearances in the Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup. But Campbell's career was not suppose to be just good, it was suppose to be great. Another major eluded his grasp last week when he finished fifth in the British Open.

"I was a little disappointed with the way I played on Saturday (at Royal St. George's)," he said. "All in all it was a good week. I feel like I am pretty close." 


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