Imagine Golf Blogs

Faldo - the best of British

Talent, skill, competitiveness, compassion - all in one golfing legend!

Posted Sep 17, 2010 by Jeff Dawson

Nick Faldo

I think it’s time to take a look at a golfing legend from our own shores after spending weeks writing about the greatest golfers from across the pond! So, everyone, please put your hands together for the greatest golfer to ever walk our land….Mr Nick Faldo!
Where you expecting me to say that name? Well I hope so. After all, the six time major winner has won a total of 40 tour competitions and spent over 98 weeks ranked as the world’s best golfer in the 1990s.
Hold on, that’s enough stats!
To me, Faldo is a legend and always will be. He is one of the reasons I decided to play the sport on a more regular basis. And I was really into the sport when he produced the best final round display I have ever seen. It sends tingles down my spine just thinking about it.
Cast your mind back to the 1996 Masters at the great Augusta course. Three rounds down and Australian Greg Norman holds a commanding six shot advantage over second placed Faldo.
Then something magical happened.
Faldo, playing with an air of calm and collectiveness, was at his very best, powering his way round in 67. His shot selection was impeccable. His concentration sublime. He was in the zone. It was beautiful to watch.
And it was Faldo’s brilliance that led to the downfall of the Great White Shark, Norman. Norman let the pressure get to him and collapsed to a 78 to finish five back.
This was Faldo’s last major title and in my mind his greatest.
It also showed that Faldo had a softer, more caring side too. After he finished, Faldo hugged Norman, whispering in his ear: “Don’t let the b*£$@%ds get you down.” This was of course a reference to the media, who Faldo assumed would aggressively hound his beaten adversary for the defeat. Norman confirmed these words were true years later and said of Faldo: “He had gone way, way up in my estimations.”
I think it’s moments like these that make you appreciate great sportsmanship as well as great sporting skill. Faldo didn’t have to take that moment to give Norman a boost, he could simply have basked in the glory of his third Masters win. But he chose to help. He chose to be different. He chose to stand out.
Faldo’s skill was unquestionable. His competitiveness remarkable. His compassion beautiful. He is a legend.
Oh and just so you know, he didn’t pick up a golf club until he was 14-years-old! Maybe there’s hope for us yet then…..

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