As he flew to Canada yesterday to resume his US Tour career, the most- capped player in cup history was asked what advice he would give to the seven Europeans making their debuts in two weeks' time. "I don't want to tread on anybody's toes. But there are lots of little bits, and I'm thinking of offering a few words of wisdom," said Faldo, a member of each of the last 11 teams.
Faldo described himself as "gutted" in Munich 10 days ago when he confronted captain Mark James about his wild card chances to be told he was unlikely to be picked even if he won the final qualifying event. It was not so much discovering that his record run of appearances was over which hurt Faldo as the way that James effectively informed him he need not have flown from Chicago to Germany. "That bowled me over," he said. "I thought `What am I doing here?' I had thought that if I did something great in the last couple of weeks, say top five in the US PGA and a top three in Munich, it would prove I was playing well. But Mark had his own thoughts on whom he wanted."
Faldo now aims to revive his career so he can make a real challenge to win back his place at The Belfry in 2001. He is playing the next five weeks on the American circuit and plans to base himself there rather than Europe next season.
"I had not done anything to be in the team," he now concedes. "Now I'm looking forward to finding some consistency - that's all I'm trying to do. It's been a lousy year. It's amazing how many little things are out of whack and it's been a major rebuild really."
Faldo revealed he does not feel ready yet to make himself a candidate to take over from James as captain. "I would still like to do that somewhere down the line - but I want to get back in it [the team] first."