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Nick Faldo goes to extreme measures to get his hands back on Claret Jug

Nick Faldo goes to extreme measures to get his hands back on Claret Jug

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Nick Faldo goes to extreme measures to get his hands back on Claret Jug

Six-time major winner Faldo is celebrating turning 60.

Nick Faldo pretended to steal the Claret Jug as he marked his 60th birthday with a special practice round ahead of the Open Championship.

Faldo is not competing at Royal Birkdale, but the three-time winner gained permission from tournament organisers the R&A to partner defending champion Henrik Stenson and Justin Rose in a match against Ernie Els and Louis Oosthuizen.

Stenson and Rose were due to play nine holes each alongside Faldo, whose victory at Muirfield in 1992 remains the last by an Englishman.

Faldo posed for pictures before making his escape
Faldo posed for pictures before making his escape (Peter Byrne/PA)

After posing for photographs on the first tee, Faldo ran down the fairway with the Claret Jug hidden under his shirt, before stopping for pictures to be taken with members of his family.

The six-time major winner made his Open debut at Birkdale in 1976 and squandered a chance to win at the same venue in 1983, which prompted him to radically change his swing to cope under the pressure of major championships.

“That Open in 1983 was amazing for me,” he said. “I began the event double bogey, double bogey and still shot 68, which has to be the best unknown 68 of my entire career.

Sir Nick Faldo takes the Claret Jug and runs down the first fairway
Faldo put the Claret Jug up his shirt (Peter Byrne/PA)

“Then with nine holes to play I blew up and it wasn’t long afterwards in a post-tournament briefing that I came to the conclusion that I needed to rebuild my swing to become a better golfer, one that could win the Open.

“My last victory in 1992 was the most draining. That was the one where I frittered away a four-shot lead and I looked at the leaderboard on the 14th green and was two back.

“I was blowing it in fine style and I would have been badly scarred if I’d lost that. I said to myself, ‘You better play the best four holes of your career to rescue this’ and I just about did.”

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