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May 29, 2004

Nick Faldo


SCOTT CROCKETT: An excellent day, thanks for coming in. 70, 69, 68, getting better every day; suggests you are having a good week.

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I obviously enjoy myself out there. Yeah, horses for courses, this place. I've played more rounds of golf here than anywhere else, so, yeah, I like it to play off.

SCOTT CROCKETT: The record books suggest that this is a favorite place of yours. Do you feel that special when you come through the gates?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I enjoy the atmosphere, I enjoy the golf course, and yeah, the whole event, the atmosphere is the best here. That's what I need in this stage of my career to keep me playing well.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Give us the details. You birdied the fourth?

NICK FALDO: I hit in the front bunker there. I hit a very good bunker shot out to two feet.

3-putted the next.

7, I made a nice putt from just off the fringe from about 20 feet.

The eagle, I hit a drive and a 3-iron to about seven feet short of the hole.

17 was a driver, 3-iron just off back left, chip-and-run down to two feet.

SCOTT CROCKETT: I think you thought you holed the one at the last there.

NICK FALDO: Well, it had a chance and it started bobbling.

SCOTT CROCKETT: But overall, pleased?

NICK FALDO: Overall, yeah, I came out and I had some good chances there through the day so, that was consistency, I guess, what I'm looking for.

Q. You just said on TV that you are not going to look at the leaderboard this time; is that a reference back to Sandwich?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, obviously that was what affected me at Sandwich. I think tomorrow will be a good day to just set a target and just go and do that, just keep the head down.

Q. You always used to be a great one for looking at leaderboards.

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I'm getting old now. I don't look at them now. I can't pronounce the names; that's why. (Laughing).

Q. What will be that target?

NICK FALDO: Well, I'll decide when they have finished. I don't know. I might be four back, I might be two, I might be six, might be eight. We shall see. We shall see.

Q. A victory would change a lot of things for you, wouldn't it?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I'd go buy a deck chair and sit on my island. (Laughs). Yeah, I need a win. That would be really good for me. That's the bottom line. That's what I'm trying to achieve, so we'll see what we can do.

Q. Did you come here this week thinking that this could be the week?

NICK FALDO: This is a great place for it. You know, I like the course, the way the course is set up. You've just got to play smart, hit the fairways, and be smart on your second shots as well and look real hard on the breaks. That's all I've been doing.

Q. In the week, that, sadly, Seve has announced he's got this real bad back problem. It's nice for someone in the same era to come and prove what golf has been played in the past, isn't it?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I didn't realize that with Seve. I knew he had been suffering for years and years now. You know, he's been an inspiration to the whole of Europe. He's certainly been a motivating force for me. It was like the classic, when somebody else does it, he went and won Augusta and you think, I can do that. He was very much paving the way.

So, you know, I hope he's rewarded with the accolades he should be, because he's been unbelievable for the European Tour.

Q. Would it be stretching at that point to suggest that what he did before 1985 helped you decide to change your swing a bit?

NICK FALDO: No, no. Nothing to do with how he performed, no. Only my performances. Seve was winning everything. He won just about every tournament on TOUR, which is pretty impressive.

Q. Did this event arrive at a vital time for you after the recent run, gave you something?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I needed to come out and play well, obviously. It's been frustrating the last few months, so it's nice to come out and just get into it.

Q. Anything else besides just being here, anything else you're working on in your game?

NICK FALDO: I just try to make it very simple, try to almost play one way this week, not get too fancy trying to draw it and fade it. I'm just playing a little fade 98 percent of the time. I might sling a couple of draws in when I really need it. But I thought, no, I'm just going to play one way this week. My game was just not good enough to try and be fancy, simple as that.

Q. You are going to qualify for the U.S. Open now?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I've got my name down.

Q. When did you last have to qualify for a major?

NICK FALDO: I told you yesterday, 1976. I'm an adept hand at it. I was one-for-one. I finished first. So rekindling the memories will be the hardest bit.

Q. You've obviously worked very hard at your fitness over the years but when you see what's happened to Seve, do you feel grateful to still be out there and in contention for a tournament?

NICK FALDO: Well, yeah, sure, that's one thing we do, we are thankful that we are physically strong and I'm in good shape. I've been working on it for nearly 20 years, I guess.

Q. Do you still get nervous, rounds like tomorrow?

NICK FALDO: Of course you do. It's not -- that's adrenaline nerves. Those are good ones. I want to be out there. That's what turns you on.

Q. A victory here, the money, etc., Puts you straight back into the frame for the Ryder Cup, doesn't it?

NICK FALDO: We shall see. We'll worry about that tomorrow night.

Q. How low were you after last week, a third successive missed cut?

NICK FALDO: No, I was just frustrated. I just felt like things were going -- just weren't going my way. I would call it the 11th hour, when you are kind of thinking that you've had enough and things turn around.

So hopefully I hit the 11th hour and got it over and done with. You know, if you missed the fairway, you had a poor lie. If you hit a bunker shot, you were up against the lip. It was like, okay, how much more; when the run is not going for you, it just felt like things were uphill.

So I thought, you know, that's probably why I decided to play one dimensional, make it simple, just do what I think I can do and just stick with it.

Q. Contact lenses this week?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I have contacts in for the first time ever in my life. I don't know how to put them in. I don't know how to take them out. I'm going this afternoon to the optometrist and said she's going to put a new set in to last me for the next month. I had a bit of grit in my left eye this morning. I had two pins in my left eye for a while after I started. (Laughter.) Luckily, they were close together.

Q. Is this actually the first time you've played with them today?

NICK FALDO: No, I've been playing with them all week. I put them in on Sunday morning.

Q. And are the glasses in the bag?

NICK FALDO: No, I've got no back up. This is it.

It has been a big help, obviously. Obviously I didn't realize how bad they were until I did something about it last week. I looked on the greens and I thought, oh, wow, suddenly you can see all that detail. Before it, you think you're seeing well, and you're just not seeing clear enough, simple as that.

Q. Is this something you should have done a while ago, do you think?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, but you don't know how bad -- I thought -- well, I couldn't see the ball land. But I thought, well, that's kind of normal. There's plenty of golfers who can't see the thing land.

Q. That's because they are hitting it so bad.

NICK FALDO: That's what I thought, as well.

Q. If we had asked you a month ago, if there is anything wrong with your eyes, what would you have said?

NICK FALDO: I would have said, yeah, you're right. I've been struggling putting and reading. And I was changing my routine -- and I spoke to Craig Farnsworth, he was the guy who mentioned it. He said, "Well, what are you doing on your routine?"

I said, "I'm trying everything, looking left, right, center everything, can't work it out." He said try your glasses. I put my glasses, even though they were wrong last week, I realized, it was the difference I needed.

So I had two, whatever you call it, two evaluations, and here we are.

Q. They were wrong, the prescription?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, I had got prescription glasses from two years ago and my eyes have deteriorated over the last year.

Q. Would you consider having the laser surgery?

NICK FALDO: I'm not quite there yet. Craig said I'm one click away from that. But I'm not -- I'm afraid of knocking me out.

Q. It doesn't hurt.

NICK FALDO: I know it doesn't. I was there with Fanny years ago. I took Fanny to Washington when she had hers done.

Q. A little squeamish?

NICK FALDO: Yeah, just watching it, whatever they call that stuff, zap-and-flap, (Laughter.) Just the thought -- but within a minute, you're fine.

Q. Do the contacts feel comfortable?

NICK FALDO: They are fine, apart from all of the pollen and grit around. That's what I'm not used to. Just eyes feel like I've got half a pound of gravel in them.

SCOTT CROCKETT: Thank you very much.

End of FastScripts.

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