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Continued: Muirfield means enough to drag Nick Faldo back into competition

  • Article by: DOUG FERGUSON , AP Golf Writer
  • Last update: July 10, 2013 - 7:11 AM

Starting with the '87 Open at Muirfield, Faldo won four out of the next 13 majors, lost a U.S. Open playoff to Curtis Strange and had three other top 4s in the majors.

But for someone regarded as one of England's greatest golfers, Faldo had a prickly relationship with the press. It started during the rebuilding years, and it didn't improve even after he had won two Masters and two Opens at Muirfield and St. Andrews. Faldo was aloof, which didn't help, and he was sensitive when it came to his swing. It was a bad combination.

That led to his infamous victory speech at Muirfield in 1992, when he was a rambling mess with his emotions and his words after a wild final round where he nearly blew a lead that Faldo now says would have scarred him. His voice was unsteady, and he constantly fidgeted with his hair. Toward the end, he sarcastically thanked the TV commentators for telling him "how to practice and what to do and what not to do."

"What can I say about the press?" he added with a grin. "I thank them from the bottom of my ... from the heart of my bottom, maybe."

Faldo said he never watched the entire closing ceremony until a few months ago, when he showed it to his youngest daughter. He had no regrets.

"If you take the whole context, I'm in semi shock, you're making it up as you go along. There's a stutter to it," he said. "It's not like it was a premeditated idea. I actually say, 'Thank you from the bottom ... well, heart of my bottom.' It was totally off the cuff.

"For the ones who I struck a nerve, well then, guess why it struck a nerve?" he said. "I was fed up."

The relationship he has with Muirfield is grounded only in respect and appreciation, sprinkled with the memories of two claret jugs.

"I could play that golf course every day," Faldo said on the video.

The video starts with Faldo trying to name his favorite courses. He talks about Augusta National and Pine Valley, Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath, Cypress Point and Pebble Beach. The list goes on until the memory kicks in, and the footage shows him making a 4-foot par putt on the 18th at Muirfield to win for the first time.

"That moment there was great," he said. "That would do. That would be the spot."

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