• Open Championship

Faldo eyes surprise Muirfield return

ESPN staff
December 7, 2012
Could Nick Faldo return to the site of two of his greatest victories? © Getty Images

Six-time major champion Sir Nick Faldo has hinted that he could make a surprise return to play in next year's Open Championship.

Faldo, 55, has not played in the event he won three times as a professional since 2010 - when he missed the cut at St Andrews - but would qualify for a place in the field due to his status as a former champion.

The Englishman has focused on his career as a commentator since that disappointment, skipping Opens at both Royal St Georges and Royal Lytham & St Annes in the interim. But the return of the tournament to Muirfield, site of two of his three Open victories, has led him to consider a fleeting comeback.

However, unsavoury weather - and the prospect of playing poorly - could yet see him stick to the commentator's booth.

"I'm actually in curiosity mode at the moment," Faldo told GQ. "I'm thinking, 'Could I sneak off somewhere quietly and play a tournament just for a laugh?'

"I think I will have a go. There's Muirfield next year, but if I got rough weather, I'd hate it. I'm not the kind of guy who could go there and shoot an 80. That would drive me up the wall."

Faldo has fond memories of Muirfield, revealing that he still regards his 1992 second round of 64 at the course as the greatest he ever played.

"The second round at Muirfield in 1992 is [the best round I've ever played]," he said. "I shot 64 and that record still stands. That was one of those floating days; everything came off."

Faldo also reflected on his last significant role at a golf event, as European captain at the 2010 Ryder Cup. The Englishman, who was pilloried in the press for Europe's defeat, claimed that Sergio Garcia was "uninspirable" that week, a contributing cause to the loss.

"I let the players decide the playing order on Sunday," he reflected. "We sent Sergio Garcia out first to try to inspire him, but he was uninspirable that week. Padraig Harrington wanted to go out last and I got b******** for that.

"But the real bottom line is that that week, they played better than us."

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