Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo bigraphy, stories - Professional golfer

Nick Faldo : biography

18 July 1957 –

Sir Nicholas Alexander Faldo MBE (born 18 July 1957) is an English professional golfer on the European Tour, now mainly an on-air golf analyst. A top player of his era, he won six major championships: three Open Championships and three Masters. He was ranked No. 1 on the Official World Golf Ranking for a total of 98 weeks.

Faldo has since become a television pundit for major golf championships. In 2006, Faldo became the lead golf analyst for CBS Sports, and in 2012 joined the BBC Sport on-air team.

Broadcasting career

After cutting back on his playing schedule, Faldo became a broadcaster for ABC Sports’ PGA Tour coverage, where he worked from 2004 to 2006. While never considered to be a particularly charismatic player, Faldo surprised many fans with his dry, British wit and insightful commentary as part of the ABC team.

On 3 October 2006, it was announced that Faldo had signed a contract with CBS to replace Lanny Wadkins as the network’s lead golf analyst. "I view this as a fabulous opportunity for me, which may come once every 10 years. But it will seriously curtail my playing career. My playing days aren’t completely over but my priority now is given to CBS." Faldo’s decision meant he missed the 2007 Masters, an event he had won three times. In 2007 he became the lead analyst for Golf Channel’s coverage on the PGA Tour.

Team appearances

  • Double Diamond: 1977
  • Hennessy Cognac Cup: 1978 (winners), 1980 (winners), 1982 (winners), 1984 (winners)
  • Ryder Cup (representing GB & Ireland / Europe): 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985 (winners), 1987 (winners), 1989 (tied match and retained trophy), 1991, 1993, 1995 (winners), 1997 (winners), 2008 (non-playing captain)
  • World Cup (representing England): 1977, 1991, 1998 (winners)
  • Dunhill Cup (representing England): 1985, 1986, 1987 (winners), 1988, 1991, 1993
  • Four Tours World Championship: 1986, 1987, 1990
  • UBS Cup (representing the Rest of the World): 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Royal Trophy (representing Europe): 2006 (winners)
  • Seve Trophy (representing Great Britain & Ireland): 2007 (non-playing captain – winners)

Playing career

Early years

Faldo was born in Welwyn Garden City, England. After watching Jack Nicklaus play the 1971 Masters on television he was inspired to take up the game of golf at the age of 13. Four years later, while working as a carpet fitter, Faldo won the English Amateur and the British Youths Championship in 1975. After playing on the University of Houston golf team for a year, Faldo turned professional in late 1976.

Professional career 1977–2013

Faldo achieved instant success on the European Tour, finishing 8th on the Order of Merit in 1977 and 3rd in 1978, winning a European Tour event in each of those seasons. In the former year, he became the youngest player to appear in the Ryder Cup at the age of 20. (The record was later broken by Sergio García at the age of 19.)

Faldo won two consecutive Sun Alliance PGA Championship’s in England in 1980 and 1981, becoming one of the leading players on the European Tour in the early 1980s. He had five victories on the European Tour in 1983, finishing top of the Order of Merit that year.

Feeling he needed to refine his game in order to become a regular contender in major championships, (British tabloids dubbed him "Nick Foldo" after collapses at the 1983 Open Championship and the 1984 Masters), he spent the mid-1980s remodelling his swing under the tutelage of David Leadbetter. His performances dropped off for a couple of years as the changes occurred, but by 1987 he was playing at an even higher level, and he claimed his first major title at that year’s Open Championship at Muirfield. He beat American Paul Azinger by one stroke, having parred every hole in his final round. Azinger held the lead for a time, but bogeyed the last two holes.

In the 1988 U.S. Open, Faldo lost an 18-hole Monday playoff to Curtis Strange by four strokes. Strange shot an even-par round of 71, while Faldo struggled with a round of 75. It was the closest that a British player had come to winning the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin’s victory in 1970. However, in 2013, England’s Justin Rose won at Merion Golf club by 2 strokes from Phil Mickleson to succeed Jacklin as England’s latest U.S. Open winner.