Golf: Faldo shoots course record

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The Independent Online
NICK FALDO took charge of the wind-swept Johnnie Walker World Championship in Montego Bay, Jamaica, with a brilliant five- under-par 65 yesterday.

The world No 1 emerged from a tense duel with Greg Norman on the front nine by making birdies on four of five holes in the middle of the round to take a commanding five-stroke lead over the Australian, who shot a 69.

'The putter was verging on hot out there,' Faldo said after shooting the best round of the dollars 2.7m ( pounds 1.8m) championship, which is worth dollars 550,000 to the winner.

The Briton's 54-hole total of four-under-par 206 was the only sub-par total for the championship. Norman, who again complained about his putting, was at one-over 211.

Faldo said he putted better after getting a tip from his famous coach, David Leadbetter, who watched him on television in Florida.

'He said my stroke was looking much too wooden,' Faldo said of the coach's phone call. 'That helped.' The British Open champion also produced some incredible shot-making in setting the record for the 6,920-yard, par-70 course bordering the Caribbean Sea.

Faldo started out with a one- stroke lead over Norman and the US Open champion, Tom Kite, and every time the Australian challenged with a birdie, Faldo was more than up to the task.

Twice Norman made birdies early in the round to draw even with the Open champion, but Faldo responded with birdies of his own.

Fred Couples, the defending champion, was alone in fourth place after a 68 put him at 214. He shot the second lowest round of the day despite a double bogey on the treacherous 458-yard eighth hole, which plays into the wind.

Ian Woosnam, three behind Faldo at the start, went out in two- over-par and stood at six-over 216 after making all pars on the way in for a 72.

JOHNNIE WALKER WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP (Montego Bay, Jamaica) Third-round scores: 206 N Faldo (GB) 71 70 65. 211 G Norman (Aus) 71 71 69. 213 T Kite (US) 73 69 71. 214 F Couples (US) 77 69 68. 215 M Roe (GB) 71 72 72. 216 I Woosnam (GB) 73 71 72. 217 D Love (US) 72 75 70. 218 D Edwards (US) 73 73 72; C Parry (Aus) 68 77 73; R Floyd (US) 73 71 74. 219 P O'Malley (Aus) 71 73 75. 220 C O'Connor Jnr (GB) 79 72 69. 221 C Montgomerie (GB) 74 76 71; T Johnstone (Zim) 75 73 73. 222 P Azinger (US) 75 76 71; S Lyle (GB) 76 71 75. 223 A Forsbrand (Swe) 75 76 72; M O'Meara (US) 75 76 72. 224 D Frost (SA) 83 67 74. 225 R Allenby (Aus) 80 73 72; B Langer (Ger) 77 76 72. 226 C Pavin (US) 77 73 76. 227 B Lane (GB) 76 77 74; B Faxon (US) 82 75 70. 228 S Elkington (Aus) 80 75 73; I Palmer (SA) 75 75 78. 229 J Sluman (US) 81 76 72. 231 S Ballesteros (Sp) 76 82 73.

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