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Faldo Gabs: Neurotic Ryder Cuppers, Rory's Near Catastrophe And Luke Donald's Major Prep

Nick Faldo had all sorts of fun stuff to talk about with James Corrigan for a lengthy Telegraph story to promote the re-release of his 1995 instruction book.

On the 2008 Ryder Cup:

“When Sergio [Garcia] says to me after the first day, ‘Excuse me ladies, I’m f----- , I don’t want to play any more,’ that’s a belter for a captain. ‘Uh, you’re one of my main guys and you don’t want to play? Terrific, great, thanks’. How do you deal with that one?

"Then I had [Padraig] Harrington exhausted and [Lee] [Westwood, who was in a different place. They were my top three players and gave me 1½ points. It’s pretty tough to do anything with that. That’s the fact, but as a captain you get walloped with other stuff.”

Hey, at least he got everyone's name right!

And this on Rory's late arrival this year at Medinah, aided by a local police officer.

“Talk about lucky. Imagine if Rory [McIlroy] hadn’t made it to the first tee in the singles, if that police car he had to jump into hadn’t been there. It turned into a joke when he got there with 10 minutes to go, but if he hadn’t and everything had have unfolded the way it did, Rory would have cost Europe the Ryder Cup.

"Just think of the outcry. Rory would have been scarred for life and the finger would also have been pointed at the leadership and organisation. The whole thing would have been a disaster.”

And maybe most interesting of all was the input he gave Luke Donald and his sense that the World No. 2 isn't preparing for majors properly.

“Luke came to me in the summer. He’d been torturing himself with his schedule and basically I told him to spend more time at the major venues. Did Luke do as I advised? No, he did he opposite. It was so funny,” said Faldo, with a laugh.

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Reader Comments (18)

I'm sure Faldo will get hammered for these remarks but I appreciate hearing this stuff that is no doubt true. Faldo, like many champions from his era, was 24--7 golf and he paid the price with home-life problems. The world is different now, or should I say women are different now. They aren't allowing their men to do what they did in 70's and 80's. I don't think Sir Nick will have to worry about captaining another RC.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
I'm with you Harv. Nick paid the price and delivered the second guessing that -- a true champion.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
It all depends...Jack paid the price and seems to have been happily married for 50+ years. Plus five children who still talk to him and uncountable grandchildren. I don't really think women, or men, have changed all that much since 1960. However, it is too bad that the Etch-a-Sketch lost and won't be able to rescue his business for those same children and grandchildren.

Happy Thanksgiving!
11.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
KLG, Jack is a great example of doing it all. Somehow he seemed able to seperate his golf and family life. But I will say I think he married a true throwback wife, who was willing and wanted to be a true mom. She obviously sacrificed "personal" things and time for the kids. That is kind of where I was going with my borderline sexist remark above. The modern day woman(not all) are not as willing to give up their own pleasures. Both men and women for that matter.

Happy Thanksgiving to All.
11.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
Faldo was like a twitchy semi-neurotic thoroughbred racehorse and spent his career ensuring his game was always err... "comfortable"....not a big stretch to imagine that his "Hdcp Index" with the opposite sex was at best a 6 or 7.

The kicker to me was when his college aged GF (Cepalak? Methinks it's a czech name;-)) smashed up his Porsche with a 9-iron...that was when I realized that top golfers can be socially retarded just like me!
11.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
I appreciate Faldo's record as a player. As a person, not so much and and as a golf announcer , annoying. He talks like he has marbles in his mouth. Here's a guy, like Greg Norman, who is pretty much universally disliked and even despised by his peers yet has been able to fool the public into believing he is likeable. Image and reality are opposites here.

Happy Thanksgiving!
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBobby D
Strewth, who's the old geezer in the photo.
I bet Luke is making a note to self, "no more private conversations with Nick".
In an (Golf Digest?) interview once, Jack Nicklaus once offered this as an example of how supportive Barbara had been of his career: During the 1967 Sahara Invitational, she suffered a miscarriage during the night between two rounds, but didn't wake him up because it would disturb his performance. I guess that's how you manage to balance family life and a golfing career... At least Jack acknowledged that that was streching the role of the supportive wife a bit.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Jack parachuted in and spent a good amount of time with the family - but Barbara Nicklaus is absolutely extraordinary and unbelievably rare in terms of family devotion and dealing with the stresses of a pro golf husband. Amazing in the truest sense of the word.

Nick F is Nick F - as far as I am concerned, he is more preferable in small doses. That said, he golfing record as a champion deserves my utmost respect. He has certainly and without doubt earned the respect to call out Luke Donald.

What is really funny is all the press coverage on Donald early in his career being the heir apparent to Faldo with respect to British golf. Donald certainly never runs away from playing this card. Standing on the Swilcan Bridge for photos with Nicklaus and Watson during Jack's last Open round was cringe worthy. Reminded me of that old Sesame Street skit "Which of these things don't belong?"
11.22.2012 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
I've been around the block (as in the world) and the women comment is really specific to ... North American women more. They believe they can have their cake and eat it too. But that's American men's own damn fault with remarks such as "aren't allowing their men" this and that. So ol Harv has that part right for American men: they have become traditional women...
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterModernDay
I'm with you Modern day.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterol Harv
@sgolfer, that awkward moment on the Swilcan Bridge was RBS's making, not Luke's own.
11.22.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
@Hawkeye - well, shame on RBS.

However, I am not sure how RBS infiltrated the R&A Open Planning Committee and slotted Donald's name into a group with Nicklaus and Watson.

Donald should have shown deference to Nicklaus (and Watson for that matter) and declined the photo op. I am sure Nicklaus would have understood if Donald persisted in declining the invitation.

My issue with this is that Donald has had a tendency to act like a major-champion heir apparent (and get paid by his sponsors as such) without every really being in the heat of battle in a major championship.
11.23.2012 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
My recollection of the bridge incident was that Donald stood away from it and was called up onto it after Jack, then his son Steve had been photographed for minutes by all the photographers there.
11.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStiggy
@stiggy - Donald should have stood behind the phalanx of photographers and out of sight of Nicklaus who probably felt obligated wave up Donald as he was standing right there.

He if hasn't earned this kind of spotlight, then do everything to avoid it. To be in the frame of a shot at such a significantly poignant moment with two titans of the game who had battled in the most incredible intense crucibles (Turnberry '77 and Pebble '82) is the act of the ultimate interloper.

I guess it is just my opinion, but Donald look so ridiculous and irrelevant at that moment.
11.23.2012 | Unregistered Commentersgolfer
@sgolfer: Actually, that's precisely what RBS did. They were major sponsors and had Nicklaus on a 5-pound note to commemorate his final appearence. It was not a coincidence that the other RBS-sponsored player was in the same group, and Donald did not nudge himself into that photo shoot.
11.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterHawkeye
Poor Nick, he Fort his speech at the Ryder Cup was really good, especially when he had his son in tow and he told everyone he was nearly as handsome as his father. Me Finks Faldo Fort that was funny. It was embarrassing to watch but I hear I missed this years Ryder Cup as he was attending the birth of his next wife according to another TV host.
11.24.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSimon

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