Golf: Faldo listens to wise words

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The Independent Online
NICK FALDO profited from some advice from an Australian golfing legend, Norman von Nida, to reverse his fortunes with the day's best round at the Australian Open in Adelaide.

While Greg Norman could only produce a second-round 82 to just survive to the weekend, and England's young hope Justin Rose missed his ninth successive cut since turning professional, Faldo moved to within five strokes of the surprise leader, Paul Gow, with an impressive three-under- par 69.

Faldo, six times a major winner, looked set for an early exit after a dire opening round of 77. But the 41-year-old turned things round yesterday as he mastered blustery conditions to move into joint 10th place with a two-over total of 146.

Faldo was grateful to the 84-year-old Von Nida for his expertise: "I met Norman a few moons ago but he just came up yesterday and gave me his two-penny's worth, and I am very grateful. His analysis was absolutely spot on.

"He found me after the 18th yesterday and was very complimentary about my game - but he said my grip pressure in my left hand was too tight. He gave me a little putting lesson as well."

Von Nida, now a frail figure with failing eyesight, was one of Australia's leading golfers in the 1950s, claiming his national title three times, including two wins over the five-times Open champion, Peter Thomson.

Faldo's form was in marked contrast to Rose, who missed the cut by a shot on 153 after slumping to a second-round 81 to add to his level-par opening 72. The teenager, who finished fourth at this year's Open, missed out after a double-bogey six on the final hole.

Scores, Digest, page 25

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