Nick Faldo was quite the player in his day. And that’s putting it lightly. Faldo racked up 6 majors (3 of those occurring at the Masters), won PGA Tour Player of the Year honors in 1990 and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1997. Including the European tour (as we should since he is from England), Faldo amassed over 30 victories.
So, with credentials like that, what is it with his jealously of Tiger Woods? Okay, so I put it out there. He’s jealous. If it’s not jealousy, then I don’t know why he says some of the things he does. To quote a fellow writer, Dan Janutolo (from bleacherreport.com),
“I laughed out loud when Nick Faldo pointed out a few days ago that Tiger is proving to be a mere mortal this year. Tiger has a 50 percent winning percentage in stroke play events this season through eight tournaments. Hey Nick, please answer the follow-up question: What is “mortal” about that.”
Precisely my point. When World Golf Ranked #2, Rory McElroy is visibly struggling through every tournament and admits to being “lost” as to where to go with this game, I think it’s safe to he is struggling mentally. But #1, who is playing through pain and is still having the season Tiger is… Now I’m “lost”, Nick.
I know players press on the course. The game is just as much mental as it is physical, so making a statement like that about Tiger probably comes with some warrant after an abysmal showing at the US Open, but not when Faldo has had a history of nitpicking one of sports’ biggest icons.
This feud (if you will) may go all the way back to when Tiger took the world by storm, embarrassing the field in his first major tournament in the 1997 Masters. The first round pairing? Woods with Faldo. And instead of “passing the torch” Nick, who was arguably the best player of his generation, just couldn’t let it go.
And so it has seemed to be ever since. When Tiger stumbles a little, Nick is right there to point it out. It’s how it has been from the get go, and perhaps will be until the best player of his generation (Woods) calls it a career.