NICK FALDO Biography - Famous Sports men and women


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Name: Nicholas Alexander Faldo                                                   
Born: 18 July 1957                                                               
Nicholas "Nick" Alexander Faldo MBE (born 18 July 1957) is an English           
professional golfer on the European Tour, and one of Europe's most successful   
players of all time. Over his career, he has won three Open Championship titles 
and three US Masters titles. He was ranked the World No. 1 on the Official World 
Golf Rankings for a total of 98 weeks.                                           
Faldo was born in Welwyn Garden City, England. He borrowed some clubs from his   
neighbours after watching Jack Nicklaus play the 1971 Masters on television.     
While working as a carpet fitter, Faldo won the English Amateur Championship and 
the British Youths Championship in 1975. He turned professional in 1976 and     
quickly achieved success, finishing 8th on the European Tour Order of Merit in   
1977 and 3rd in 1978 and 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 21. Faldo was one of the leading players on the European Tour in the 
early 1980s, and he topped the Order of Merit in 1983.                           
However, feeling that he needed to refine his game in order to become a regular 
contender in major championships (British tabloids even 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. He managed to beat American Paul Azinger 
by one shot even without getting a birdie in the final round (he parred all 18   
holes), after Azinger bogeyed the final two holes of the tournament.             
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Faldo was considered the best golfer in the   
world. He was noted for being remarkably composed under pressure, intimidating   
to his opponents, and won more of the four professional major tournaments (Faldo 
won six) than any other player in the world from 1987 through 1996 (Nick Price   
was second with three major victories during this period; Seve Ballesteros, a   
contemporary of Faldo's from Spain, won five majors from 1979-1988). He won the 
Open Championship again in 1990 in St Andrews, Scotland by six shots, and       
claimed it for a third time in 1992, outplaying American John Cook. He also won 
two more majors when he won the Masters Tournament in 1989 and 1990. At the 1989 
Masters, he shot a 65, the low round of the tournament, to get into a playoff   
with Scott Hoch. He won the playoff after holing a somewhat lengthy putt on the 
2nd playoff hole (Hoch missed a 2 foot putt to win on the first playoff hole).   
At the 1990 Masters, he came from behind again to get into a playoff with       
Raymond Floyd, once again winning on the second playoff hole after Floyd pulled 
his approach shot into a pond left of the green. Faldo spent a total of 98 weeks 
altogether at the top of the Official World Golf Rankings, and claimed the       
European Tour Order of Merit a second time in 1992. During that time, Faldo said 
of his success: "The run doesn't have to end. If someone is going to beat me     
then I'm going to make sure they've worked for their victory. Let them come and 
get it from me." That year, he had worldwide earnings of £1,558,978, breaking   
the existing record.                                                             
Throughout this time, he remained a European Tour player while also visiting     
America regularly and playing events around the world, but in 1995 he decided to 
concentrate on playing on the PGA Tour, as his priority was to win further major 
championships (and three out of the four majors are played in the United States).
At first this strategy didn't seem to work, as he had a moderate 1995 season and 
start to the 1996 season, but he won a famous victory at the 1996 Masters to     
collect his sixth and final major championship. He went into the final round     
trailing Greg Norman by six shots, but was the beneficiary of an infamous Sunday 
collapse by Norman; Faldo shot a 67 to win by five over Norman, who struggled   
mightily en route to a 78. Though this is commonly remembered as the tournament 
Norman threw away, Faldo's 67 was a memorable display of concentration and       
consistency which put pressure on Norman. After Faldo finished, he hugged Norman 
and whispered something in his ear, which years later Norman confirmed to have   
included the line "Don't let the bastards get you down," a reference to the     
media, which Faldo assumed would aggressively hound Norman for the loss (but     
which didn't really happen). Norman who up until this time had little time for   
Faldo said in interview after defeat that "He (Faldo) had gone way, way up in my 
estimations" since then they have become firm friends and fishing partners a     
passion they both share.                                                         
Faldo was named the PGA Tour Player of the Year in 1990 and the European Tour   
Player of the Year in 1989, 1990 and 1992, and has won 29 European Tour titles. 
As Faldo entered his forties, his form gradually declined and he devoted more   
time to off-course activities. The last season that he played regularly on the   
PGA Tour was 2001. Afterwards, he refocused on the European Tour, but has       
consistently played less than a full schedule. His most recent top-10 finish in 
a major to date (and quite probably the final of his career) was a tie for       
eighth place at the 2003 Open Championship. As of July 2005, his career European 
Tour earnings are just under €8 million, and his PGA Tour earnings are over $5 
Faldo is also one of the most successful Ryder Cup players ever, having         
represented the European Team a record 11 times and played a key role in making 
Europe competitive in the event. Having won 23 of his matches, lost 19, and     
halved 4, he also holds the record for having played the most Ryder Cup matches. 
He also holds the record for the most points won by any player 25 and is one of 
only six players to have scored a hole-in-one in the Ryder Cup.                 
While Faldo's professional individual tournament wins (39) pale in quantity to   
that of contemporaries Greg Norman, Seve Ballesteros and Bernhard Langer, the   
prestige and stature of his successes are impressive, and he has more major     
victories than any of these players. His CV boasts (often multiple) successes in 
high-profile tour events such as the French Open, Irish Open, Spanish Open,     
Swiss Open (now European Masters), the European PGA, the British Masters, the   
European Open, the Johnnie Walker Classic, and the Volvo Masters, as well as his 
Nissan Open, Doral Open and Heritage successes in the US. These wins are not     
only supplemented by his six majors, but also by his wins in invitational events 
such as the Nedbank Million Dollar Challenge, the World Championship of Golf,   
and the World Matchplay, as well as his team successes in the Dunhill Cup, the   
World Cup of Golf, and of course the Ryder Cup.                                 
In the first half of 2007, Faldo did not appear in any regular tour events. He   
did play in the 2007 British Open, missing the cut. In his first Champions Tour 
event, he finished tied for 14th in the Senior British Open.