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January 11, 2018

Nick Faldo

Orlando, Florida

Q. This type of event, what's it mean to be a part of this? Obviously, it benefits a good cause, and then you see all these athletes that are legends in their own sport.
NICK FALDO: Yeah, it's very cool. I wasn't playing until I was sitting and watching TV in the new year up the road. I only live over in Winter Park. And I thought, oh, I'm at home. I could play this. I made one phone call, and here I am.
Yeah, it's good to be a golfer for a few days, and it's good to rub shoulders with some legends of other sports and see if you can get a few tickets to a few games, all sorts of things like that.

Q. How is the game right now?
NICK FALDO: My game? I'm not sure it could be called a game. It doesn't feel very exciting or inviting right now. It's hard work, as always. But we'll battle on. It's good fun. I'm trying. You try your best. You've got to be doing it all the time competitively. Just jumping in and out of it and trying to pick it up, it's hard work. But we'll muddle through, find a way.

Q. As you're around these guys, the different celebrities and athletes, what are you kind of learning about these guys, maybe some folks that you've never met before and stuff. Is it a fun group?
NICK FALDO: I haven't met them yet.

Q. You haven't met them yet. Okay. All right.
NICK FALDO: No, it's good to bump into a few that I have met over the years. Yeah, you always‑‑ I admire them for coming out and playing our game because golf is a little scary, like us trying to pick another sport. So, yeah, as I said, I admire them giving that a go because it's a tough game to stand up and look at that white thing and make it move how you intend it to.

Q. You've been to a couple of these. You were here and then Tahoe. Would you like to see more of these celebrity events, and how can they help grow the game?
NICK FALDO: It's a bit of both, isn't it? It's a bit of celebrity golf and tournament golf. I think we have a reasonably good mix of it, yeah. Sure, it got great coverage, I'm all for it. If a guy is good enough to play‑‑ Steph Curry is good enough to stand up and go inside the ropes and play, which he was. He did a pretty darn good job, considering it's very part‑time. He made a really good effort.
So, yeah, if a guy can genuinely get close to coming in and playing in our sport, then, yeah, I'm all for that. I think it's good for golf.

Q. Are you a sports fan outside of golf?
NICK FALDO: Yeah, I like my NFL. I have my NFL taco Sunday at home every Sunday, sit in front of the TV and have tacos.

Q. Who's your team? Who's your NFL team?
NICK FALDO: Any quarterback that plays golf. I'm actually into Drew Brees right now because the Saints are doing great. A couple of years ago, they weren't. Drew is playing great. Of course, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, any of the guys who are golfers as well, I watch them closely, yeah. I'm big fans of all of them.

Q. Do the Jags have a chance, do you think? The Jacksonville Jaguars?
NICK FALDO: Yeah, I'm nearly‑‑ the JAG‑URES, we call them, not the Jaguars.

Q. Much more sophisticated than me.
NICK FALDO: I'm going to have to work on that. That could become my local team, yeah.

Q. This one may be out of left field. Since you're Sir Nick Faldo, could you crown UCF national champions? What are your thoughts on that?
NICK FALDO: I could maybe get her majesty to write them a nice letter. I'll try. Yeah, you're right. They've got a good shot with their 16‑0 season, haven't they? Is it 16?

Q. 13.
NICK FALDO: 13‑0. Part‑timers (laughter). No, 13‑0 is very good. I watched the game on Monday night. That was good. I'm kind of into my football.
And what else do I enjoy? Got to start watching the skiing now. That's my other great sport. I was really good at skiing (eye roll).

Q. Nick, what do you expect from Tiger this year based on what we saw in the Bahamas?
NICK FALDO: I thought, fitness‑wise is key. I thought his swing looked great, didn't it? His swing looked good. Physically looks really good. Club head speed amazing, up at 125. He's done a heck of a job to get back. We'll find out, which is great, at San Diego.
Sure, that was Bahamas on the links on a resorty course, 85 degrees. When he gets a 7:07 tee time at Torrey Pines at 51 degrees and the grass is damp, we'll find out.
So I wish him well. I hope his back is strong enough. He needs the strength to last‑‑ we're going to find out everything. Strength to last a week basically.

Q. More of a concern, his driving or his chipping? If there's one thing that you want him to ramp up?
NICK FALDO: We're going to go back in‑‑ whenever he's been able to clear everything, have a clear mind completely and say, okay, I've moved on, a couple of years on from where he was, I've got a whole new game, whole new philosophy, but we'll find out very soon. Give him a couple of tournaments. Once you've played a few pressure shots. Once you've had a few‑‑ you know, once he's done Torrey Pines and he's going to play Riviera, that's tough chipping.

Q. Of the two majors you've won multiple times, The Open, which guys in their 40s and 50s have done well in the last 15 years, and then the Masters, where he knows his way around like the back of his hand, what Majors seem to suit him best, you think? Going forward, he's 42 now. Which one might he take off?
NICK FALDO: I would go more linksy because you've got more options. Augusta is the most nerve‑racking golf course we play because you stand up at the hill, and you've got‑‑ you're aimed at a three‑yard circle to land the darn thing to then position it, and if you miss the green, you're chipping into a one‑yard circle and feed it down. If you've got the touch, you can do it. If you haven't, then it's brutal. So the links course is much easier in that sense, way more options than bumbling along the ground or what have you.
I would think Augusta would be a really tough one as you‑‑ for anybody getting older, let alone have you got the nerve to keep chipping it, keep putting it, what have you, and facing the shots, hit them in the right place.

Q. Nick, the PGA returns to Bellerive this year. He had a good finish there last time. What do you remember about the course? I know it was a while ago.
NICK FALDO: Yeah, it was a long time ago. Nice course, can't remember it. I hit a 6 iron out of the left rough at 18. That was a helluva onto the green.
No, I honestly can't‑‑ I can't remember a lot of it. But it's good.

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