VOX POP: What does Nick Faldo need to do to recapture past glories?
Sunday 02 May 1999
LEADING EUROPEAN TOUR PRO
Nick has set himself very high standards throughout his career. For a long while, a decade or more, he was the best golfer in the world and he seemed to be in contention in at least two out of every four majors each year - much more frequently than anyone else. Practising hard and staying in focus on the golf course have been important parts of his success, but only Faldo himself can sort things out now. I hope he comes through all this. I'm sure he will, because he is one of the all-time greats.
I hope he gets his game back. He's lacking confidence at the moment and that puts all sorts of demons into your mind, but sometimes it takes only a single shot for the confidence to come flooding back. His problem is mental confusion - he's not playing with a free spirit. Seve's struggling in the same way although his short game is holding up. They're both as fit as fiddles. Faldo complains a lot about his putting, but that looks like a technical problem. I think his private life also needs to be sorted out.
EUROPEAN SENIORS CHAMPION
I'm disappointed for the guy because no one works harder, but I'm not sure he can recapture his Open-winning form. This slump has gone on a long time and the longer you're off form the harder it is to get back. If you lose it for a year, due to personal problems or an injury, you can recover, but he hasn't had an injury and the problem isn't the technical one he thinks it is. I don't think the solution is practice. He needs someone who can remind him how he used to play and give him a fresh approach.
NICK FALDO'S FORMER WIFE
I can't pinpoint technical reasons why he's struggling, but I've talked to a lot of coaches and they think the problem is easily remedied. He's had some good rounds recently, but hasn't put four together. It's probably mainly psychological, so with the right mental attitude and coach his form should come back. He's done it before when people have written him off, but he needs to get his personal life in order and regain his self-belief. What he probably doesn't realise is there are a lot of fans out there who want him to find his form.
NINE-TIMES MAJOR WINNER
He can recapture it because he's young and strong, but Faldo's slump is part of a strange phenomenon which has occurred in the last 10 years. In my day, and in the previous Hogan-Snead era, it was unheard of for leading players to suffer such losses of form. In recent years we've seen similar happen to Ballesteros, Ian Baker-Finch, Tom Watson and Bill Rogers. They've all tried to change a swing which works. It's a lesson to today's youngsters that talent is a gift which is merely loaned to them.
FORMER BRITISH No1
Nick has devoted himself to the game perhaps to the detriment of his personal life. I don't know him well enough to judge if that is getting him down. His putting seems to be a problem, and it looks as though he is unable to rely on his natural ability alone any more. People in Europe want him to recapture his past form because they know that mentally he can handle the pressures of the Ryder Cup but at the moment he just isn't executing the shots and has got into a bit of a rut.
INTERVIEWS: PAUL TROW
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