November 19, 2008 – With Ryder Cup pressures out of the way, Nick Faldo is enjoying being back on the fairways.
The six-time Major winner is competing in this week’s UBS Hong Kong Open as the tournament celebrates its 50th edition.
“It’s been a busy year, obviously, with my television work and the Ryder Cup, so I’m glad to be back out on the golf course for a bit of fun this week,” said Faldo, 51.
“The only problem is the body. When you haven’t played a lot, the arms are hot. I’ve been playing tennis, but I had the wrong strings in my racquet and that’s done my arms in.
“So my arms are pretty hot right now and I’m trying to get rid of the tendinitis.”
The UBS Hong Kong Open – once again co-sanctioned by the European and Asian Tours – tees off on Thursday (November 20) at the Hong Kong Golf Club in Fanling.
“It’s good to be back here,” said Faldo. “Though I never won the Hong Kong Open, I did win the inaugural Johnnie Walker Classic here at Fanling in 1990, so I’ve got some good memories. I shot a 62 and I remember holing a bunker shot.
“It’s a nice golf course, short by pro standards now, which helps me. It’s a little bit greener than last year, so I think it will play a fraction longer. I envisage the scoring will be pretty low this week.”
Faldo’s last competitive appearance on the European Tour came in last year’s Hong Kong tournament when he made the cut.
Since then other projects have taken up his time, including captaining Europe in their Ryder Cup loss to the USA two months ago.
“I enjoyed the Ryder Cup so much, it really was a great experience. If, somewhere down the line, there’s another opportunity to be captain, I would seriously consider it,” he said.
Apart from his TV commentating and the Ryder Cup, the Florida-based Faldo spent his summer fishing and receiving tennis tips from seven-time Wimbledon winner Pete Sampras.
“I struggled to return his serve,” admitted Faldo. “But I managed to get a few past him when we were just rallying, as you do, with Pete!”