Open Golf: Birthday boy Faldo plays down Rory rift

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Faldo shoots 79 on his Open return

SIR Nick Faldo’s first Open for three years ended with an opening 79 on his 56th birthday.

The three-time champion was just two over after 12 but double bogeys at 14 and 17 made a relative mess of his scorecard. Playing partners Tom Watson and Fred Couples were both four shots better.

Having hardly played in recent years Faldo was satisfied with his efforts on a course which is quickly drying out.

I did it all right. The long swings were pretty darn good. I only hit one really bad shot up the hill at 13 when I pulled a bad 6-iron left. And then had to play sideways out of that one.

“The golf course is tough, you know. It’s hard work. It’s like glass now. But I was enjoying it. That view standing on the first tee with the crowd and the people in the stands and everything, that was — I’ll take that one as my shot of the day.”

Faldo’s comments earlier in the week on Rory McIlroy was one of the talking points but he was quick to clarify that he only had the youngster’s best interests at heart. (Faldo had questioned McIlroy’s work ethic).

“Concentrate totally on when you’re a golfer, concentrate on your golf and then you have your charity. Just keep it minimal. I’m speaking from experience. Don’t go off into the business world, because he’s got tons of time for that. 

“I’m friends of Rory. Don’t write it any other way. I’ve known him since he’s 12" – Sir Nick Faldo
“If you’re going to retire somewhere in your 40s, who knows with 10 Majors, you’ll be a pretty darned good businessman for the next 50 years of your life. Got me? That’s what I’m trying to say. I got involved in business, and I know it completely changed my mindset.

“I’m friends of Rory. Don’t write it any other way. I’ve known him since he’s 12. He’s a big part of my Faldo Series. I’m like big granddad, here, saying exactly those things.”

Faldo also added that he might be tempted to give it another go at St Andrews and generally play a bit more. At least we think this is what he means..

Who knows, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea coming out at 60 just to keep yourself fit. As long as you can jiggle it properly. Don’t like jiggling it on the greens. I like solid jiggles, you know.”

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