Woods and Faldo bury hatchet

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The Independent Online

Put away the gloves, call off the ring announcer. Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods buried the hatchet here yesterday - and no, not in each others backs - before they partnered together in today's first round.

It was good news for the traditionalists but bad news for the spectators who were looking forward to the frosty atmosphere this long-standing feud was sure to create. On Monday, Faldo said he was standing by the criticisms of Woods' swing more than a year ago that so angered the world No 1, and on Tuesday the latter poured further fuel on the ire by saying he would not be talking to the Englishman.

Well, what a difference a day and a few negative headlines make. On the driving range yesterday evening Faldo noticed Woods and went over to him before initiating a conversation and then a handshake.

After continuing his practice for a while, Faldo then went up behind Woods and started laughing and joking with his former enemy as the balls boomed off into the distance. What exactly was said was not recorded although it is fairly certain the 49-year-old did not lay into the 30-year-old's technique as he had at the Buick Invitational live on American television last year.

As the news spread around Hoylake last night the bookmakers wiped their boards of their most popular novelty bets. It had been 6-4 for the duo not to obey etiquette by shaking hands on the first tee and just 25-1 on them coming to blows. Alas, they will just play golf now. But rather competitively, it is expected.

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