Golf: Faldo inspires England to make history

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The Independent Online
NICK FALDO has moved into the winner's circle for the first time in 19 months, teaming triumphantly with David Carter to clinch a historic first-ever win for England in the World Cup of Golf in Auckland.

Faldo and Carter sealed England's inaugural victory in the 46-year history of the tournament, winning with an eight under par total to defeat Italy by two shots, with Scotland, the United States and Argentina in third place at five under.

Faldo is now determined to use this New Zealand triumph as a building block for greater wins ahead.

"My goal now is to get out there and play and be competitive again, and that's the bottom line," he said, after finishing with an eight under par individual effort.

"This has been a good week in that direction and I've got the Australian Open to look forward to. I'm obviously enjoying my golf and I have worked hard. I think the workload has been productive and it's just great to finish off like this."

England have taken part in all previous World Cup encounters, but their previous best were second places in 1960 and 1985.

"To be a member of the first England team whose names go on to the trophy is very special," said Faldo.

Carter, 26, from Chesterfield, threw both arms skywards with delight after holing an 18-foot birdie putt at the last hole that all but wrapped up the historic win.

Faldo looked surprised, but realised he still faced a six-foot tester for par to guarantee the two-stroke winning margin. "I wouldn't have liked to have faced my par putt to have won," he admitted.

Carter needed two pain killing tablets a day for a repetitive strain injury to his left shoulder. The injury has also forced him out of two forthcoming tournaments in Australia.

But the young England golfer returns home with renewed confidence after having carried himself superbly in the company of his more illustrious team-mate.

"I didn't think when we arrived in New Zealand that we would be sitting here as winners," said Carter.

"I've had a problem with my shoulder for a while now but the physio has been able to help me out and I started to play better with Nick helping me with my putting and keeping me positive."

Carter afterwards confessed he had first watched his hero - the winner of six majors - compete when he was 11 years old. "I mentioned that to Nick this week and he could not believe me," said Carter.

"I told him I even remembered what colour clothes he was wearing - blue trousers, a blue and white striped shirt, and his caddie was carrying a white golf bag."

Lee Westwood won his second straight tournament in Japan, shooting a one-under par 70 to win the Dunlop Phoenix event in Miyazaki by three strokes.

In Sydney, David Howell won his first tournament as a professional with a seven-stroke victory in the Australian PGA golf championship.

Laura Davies slipped to a third-round 75 but maintained her lead, two shots ahead of Meg Mallon, after the third round of the PageNet Tour Championship in Las Vegas.

Scores, Digest, page 26