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So to those golf fans that are among the younger crowd, Sir Nick Faldo is a little more than one of the best Golf Analysts on any network. He also happens to be my favorite Golf Analyst. I do not believe there is anyone even in the same ball park. My father would tell you that I am a biased because I was a huge fan of his while I was growing up. A six-time Major winner and 3 time winner of the Claret Jug, one of those great wins came at St. Andrews. A place he may in fact use as his last competitive tournament on any tour.
I had the great luck of playing competitive golf and paying very close attention to the Professional ranks during the time period that Nick was in his prime during the mid 80’s through early 90’s. When you look at his entire career, it is very similar to the likes of Phil Mickelson which is no small feat.
Faldo finished his PGA Playing career with 41 victories and six Major Championships. He won three times at the Open Championship and three times at Augusta. He has a second place finish at the US Open along with a second at the PGA Championship during that same time period.
In 1990, Nick Faldo would claim his second Claret Jug and would set a record for the lowest score at an Open Championship at 18-under par.
Nick would trail after the first round by just one shot at 5-under. He was chasing both Michael Allen and Defending Champion Greg Norman. But it would be a second round 65 that would allow him pull into a tie after the second round with The Shark.
Greg Norman had a history of playing risky golf and never compromising. His third round was an example of that style of gold and it got him in trouble time and again. A disappointment as best, as he would finish the round with a 4+over 76 to take him out of contention. Faldo on the other hand would keep the pedal down and shoot a 5-under round 67. He would put some distance between he and the field with Ian Baker Finch and the late Payne Stewart the closest chasers at 12-under.
Nick Faldo would move to 18-under after a shooting a final round 71 and would leave the rest of the field in the dust. The rest of the top 10 looked like this.
1Nick Faldo England67-65-67-71=270–18
2Mark McNulty Zimbabwe74-68-68-65=275–13
2Payne Stewart United States68-68-68-71=275-13
T4Jodie Mudd United States72-66-72-66=276–12
Ian Woosnam Wales68-69-70-69=276-12
T6Ian Baker-Finch Australia68-72-64-73=277–11
Greg Norman Australia66-66-76-69=277
T8David Graham Australia72-71-70-66=279–9
Donnie Hammond United States70-71-68-70=279-9
Steve Pate United States70-68-72-69=279-9
Corey Pavin United States71-69-68-71=279-9
When you listen to him revisit those memories, he talks in great depth about how difficult a final round that was for him up five strokes. It sounds odd, but playing with a lead is not always easy. There are decisions to be made, especially when you consider in this instance Nick was chasing history. So, he was just not sure if he should push to go lower and take some chances or just work toward level golf and make the chasing group not only catch him but beat him. His discipline was something that made him so great. He had the ability to just dial it back and play golf to limit his mistakes.