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July 18, 2013

Nick Faldo


Q. Happy birthday.
SIR NICK FALDO: Thank you very much, yeah.

Q. Was that a happy birthday?
SIR NICK FALDO: The golf course is tough, you know. It's hard work. It's like glass now. Given my most minimal practice and preparation in the history of the Open, probably. 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. I was pleased with the way I hit some shots. Actually I really messed up on -- I hit two good shots on 5, and three-putted it. And hit a big drive down 9 and pushed a 2-iron into -- and then after that it was kind of like, the golf course suddenly really dried out. And I tell you what, it's getting slippery out there.

Q. How nervous were you on that first tee?
SIR NICK FALDO: Yeah, I was. I really was. I thought I did a really good job of coping with it, because you start thinking about that and trying to put it off, but this morning you can't. You know when you're walking to for the first tee. So I was delighted with the way I nailed it down there.

Q. That little incident with the bunker on 7, was that a chip?
SIR NICK FALDO: I had no options, so I was trying to -- you sort of set it up, I was trying to run it and work it around it and duffed it. So it went sideways.

Q. You came back from that pretty well.
SIR NICK FALDO: I had a great bunker shot, when I was underneath the lip, got up and down from over there. And so that was all right. But on the back nine, I was just worn out from it. And I hit it over the green at 14, and I'm coming back over the hump. I've got no touch.

Q. You hit a lot of fairways and had a lot of putts.
SIR NICK FALDO: Yeah, I did it all right. The long swings were pretty darn good. I only hit one really -- one bad shot, really bad swing was up the hill at 13. Pulled a bad 6-iron left. And then had to play sideways out of that one. So these bunkers are scary.

Q. Did you hit the bunker shot on the last the way you wanted to hit it?
SIR NICK FALDO: Yeah, it was a 9-iron. Yeah. I've done a few of them.

Q. No regrets, though, Nick?
SIR NICK FALDO: No. I'm not here -- I'm here to walk and enjoy. That's what I've got to remember, as well.

Q. You always make an impact. Your comments about Rory --
SIR NICK FALDO: Yeah, let me add, because I missed out the middle bit to that. When I say he has a window, let me just add, he's going to have a wife, assumptions, he's going to have a wife and children, and get yourself a charity you believe in. And that's what I'm saying. There is your window as an athlete. Okay? 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. If you're going to retire somewhere in your 40s, who knows with ten 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. And that's what I'm trying to -- because I know that, 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. Just give it your full attention, when you want to play golf. When you want to disappear and have a family and do other things, but don't add anymore, get me? I'm trying to give him a little caring, loving help, here.

Q. He seems to be having a hard time out there again today, does that make you feel a bit vindicated?
SIR NICK FALDO: No, I'm not trying to be anything. I like the kid. He's a friend. I can speak from experience. All I'm trying to say is I've been there, seen it, I know what can happen. As I said, right from the word go, I thought the equipment change was very dangerous and trying to explain the feel factor, and feel his confidence. Bottom line, if you can do it on a Sunday afternoon at a Major and win it, that is the ultimate confidence in this game. That gives you the ultimate self belief. I guarantee he's a different -- I won't say "guarantee," he looks a different person, let alone a different golfer right now, than when he walked off the -- when I saw him before PGA, what was his line, "every part of my game is good," right? Simple as that. I said, "How are you playing?" He said, "Every part of my game is good, or better than good." Wouldn't say that now, would he? Get me? But life, golf and that, all goes up and down. As long as you keep believing you're on an upward track, your career is still going to be up and down, up and down. That's golf. You're either on a spiral going up or a spiral going down. But that's all I'm saying. Don't write as if I'm having a go at him.

Q. (Inaudible.)
SIR NICK FALDO: I think that's where I went wrong. I only played nine holes. I run out of steam, I did four nines.

Q. Did you flash back at all today?
SIR NICK FALDO: Yeah, of course you do, yeah. To be honest, I did it more in practice rounds. You get more time in practice rounds, where you stand on spots and say I hit whatever from here. Fanny Sunesson was here and she stayed a couple of nights with me. And she even brought the original yardage books. That's really cool. She kept all the yardage books. And she brought the original yardage books. So it's cool to see where I hit some shots from on yardages. Of course you know how, with the breeze here, how short of yardage, but how big a club. It's my famous -- when I head down 15, it was only 164, with that chippy 5-iron. Today we're hitting 5-irons 300 yards.

Q. (Inaudible.)
SIR NICK FALDO: Yeah, it's great. As I said, it was scary going to the first tee. And I thought I settled down all right after that and I hit some decent shots. But it's just too -- it's slippery. You wait until you get the real golfers in here (laughter).

Q. When you were with Tom Watson for four hours (inaudible).
SIR NICK FALDO: I was trying to quiz him about his shooting skills. He has a very fine shot. No, he was -- you know what golfers are like, we put our head down and grind. I asked him about shooting and tornadoes.

Q. Do you stand, Nick, in that second bunker and think, I need to get up and down to break even, or is that not your thoughts?
SIR NICK FALDO: I'm not worried about that. That was a hell of a bunker shot, wasn't it? Did you see Tom even acknowledge that one. A bit of class, he said. So there you go, that made my day. 9-iron.

Q. Justin said yesterday you might be playing a bit more?
SIR NICK FALDO: Me? 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. It's no fun when you don't strike.

Q. Any idea about playing a bit more competitive?
SIR NICK FALDO: It's giving me a lot more ideas, like none. You won't be seeing me next year. (Laughing). No way.

Q. Is that it?
SIR NICK FALDO: No, I'm not saying that's it, no. But who knows? St. Andrews is my next port of call, if I want to. I've got to pace myself. Come on, guys. This is one tournament in the last three years. Steady on. One in a row.

Q. (Inaudible.)
SIR NICK FALDO: I'm just going to enjoy it. That was good atmosphere. I'd like to play a little better. We're golfers, find something or whatever. It's all right.

Q. (Inaudible.)
SIR NICK FALDO: It was great. As I tell you, I hope somebody got a happy snap of that from behind the tee. Seriously, that was the best view of the day. When I looked down 1 and saw the hill going and everything, and we were four deep at that time, which is pretty darn cool. That was a moment of the day for me.

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