Sir Nick Faldo

Sir Nick Faldo, 1990


Major CV: The six-time Major champion (three Opens and three Masters) will play in his last Open in July, turning 58 during his farewell event. His other Open victories came at Muirfield in 1987 and 1992.

St Andrews moment: A five-shot win over Payne Stewart and Mark McNulty in 1990, clinching his second Major of the year and £85,000 prize money with a then-record score of 270 (-18).

Why is St Andrews so special? 
It’s a very historic little Scottish town and the Old Course itself starts and finishes in the town. There’s just nowhere else like it, it’s unique. It’s all about the history, Old Tom Morris and all that, while the Old Course itself can play very tough and in my view is the most strategic golf course around. It is all about getting the angles right, which makes all the difference between a good score and a bad one! 

What is your favourite hole? 
The par-5 14th is one of my favourites simply because it has so many options. It’s a tough tee shot with OB on the right and bunkers left and then you have options close to the green, too. Obviously you want to get it close and when you go left you’ve got a better angle, though the new pin on the left of the green is very difficult to find. Then, when you’re walking down, you’ve got the stunning St Andrews backdrop. 

What would be your stand-out St Andrews moment? 
On day three in 1990 I had a battle royale with Greg Norman and it was pretty amazing: I played really well and felt like I holed every single putt. I ended up shooting 67, which gave me a five-shot lead, exactly what I was trying to achieve, to take into the last day. My shot into the last was pretty special too, finishing two feet from the hole! 

Is today’s Old Course too short and easy for the modern game?
A lot can depend on the weather. If it turns nasty and rough the players will be conscious of that – the wind can make things a lot more demanding. Also, I think you will find that the R&A can make things tougher with certain tricky pin locations.

Will The Open still be played on the Old Course in 100 years time? 
For me, the Old Course will always be part of the Open Championship and rota. To be honest, I think there are more pressing concerns as far as Planet Earth is concerned than worry about this!

Who is your tip to win this year?
Apart from Rory there are a lot of guys who play smart and solid and, in theory, are capable of not missing a single green. To win The Open at St Andrews you have to have everything in your locker including the ability to hit really solid tee shots, good iron shots and nice skills on and around the greens. Plus it’s about who can judge the bounce of the ball best, weigh up how close you can get to the tricky pins and who can putt on 500-yard greens…