The British Open is next on the major slate, and that means legends of European golf like Nick Faldo are returning to the stage not as commentators, but as players. And as such, Sir Nick has leveled his gaze on a fellow player: one Tiger Woods.
Speaking of Woods' persistent troubles in majors, Faldo told the Daily Mail, 'I think Tiger's woken up and realized this is a hard sport and he is a mere mortal after all."
That would track with the general perception that Woods has the talent to win majors, but fails in the mental aspect of an Open or Masters Sunday. "He's not in a good mental place, Faldo continued. "It was so easy for him before, he made it look so easy, when it is such a hard sport. But whatever he's been through, with all his personal problems, has made an impact on his mind - and so much of this sport is all in the mind. Nerve is the bottom line."
Nothing shocking there, certainly, except it's still a touch jarring to think of the once-invulnerable Woods having jitters in the mental department. Still, Faldo indicated that he believed Woods can and will retain a share of his former glory.
Faldo, for his part, will be playing in the Open at Muirfield, a decision he arrived at not too long ago. "I was filming an advert and they asked me what my favorite course was and I started thinking about Muirfield, which holds so many memories, and I thought I might regret it if I didn't go for it again," said Faldo, who won at Muirfield in 1992. "You only have until you're 65 to enter and I'll be 56 on the first day of the Open. But It's quite hilarious now as I'm in training and trying to pretend I'm a serious golfer."
Hey, it worked for Tom Watson a few years back. You never know.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-