Michael Campbell wanted to make a statement by succeeding in golf
Michael Campbell features in episode 32 of Sky Sports' My Icon series
By Dev Trehan
Last Updated: 30/10/17 1:40pm
Michael Campbell says his drive came from his desire to prove to the world that Maoris can play golf.
Campbell played a variety of sports as a kid growing up in New Zealand, but in his teens was forced to accept he would never be "big enough, fast enough, or strong enough" to play for the All Blacks.
But he had natural talent as a young golfer and would go on to win 15 tournaments in his 22-year professional career, including the US Open in 2005.
"I never told my friends I played golf because I knew if I told them I will be kicked out of my circle of friends. I kept it a secret for like eight or 10 years," he says in episode 32 of Sky Sports' My Icon series.
"When I was going to school, I didn't even tell my close buddies I played golf because back in the 1980's it was regarded as an old man's sport, an elite sport to play and [I felt the attitude was] why should a Maori like myself play golf?
"My main motivation to play golf and to succeed at what I did was to prove to the world that Maoris can play golf as well as rugby.
"That is truly the reason why I wanted to do well in this game."
Campbell talks about his journey in the latest instalment of My Icon, which premieres on Tuesday at 7am on Sky Sports Mix and is available On Demand. The episode is repeated on Tuesday at 1pm, 4pm 5.45pm and 10pm.
Coinciding with Black History Month, Sky Sports' #MyIcon campaign brings you 31 exclusive interviews with top BAME sports personalities across the month of October. For more information click here.