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Sir Nick

Six-time major tournament victor, and winner of 43 tournaments worldwide, Nick Faldo is enjoying his new role as a TV commentator
Jeff Williams
From the Print Edition:
George Lopez, January/February 2010

(continued from page 3)

It's when he talks about all these sidelines of life that he really seems to get going, when he can't get the words out fast enough, when the mind is streaking with ideas.

On photography: "I love the work photographers do. How do they see those lines in the skyscrapers? I've met some really good photographers and I've said take me to Paris and I will go shoot bridges. Those wet streets in Paris. I was in Angkor Wat, they have trees growing up through the temples. I've got lots of things I would like to shoot."

On sculpture: "The last one I did was in school. It was a hand, beaten out of aluminum. Wonder if I still got that? My parents must have it. They have one of my old pots, clay pots. I put pens and pencils in it when I was about eight."

On doing all the things he wants to do: "I need to pack a rod, pack a tennis racket, a couple of chisels in case we find a piece of wood on the beach, a camera."

On living in America, in his house in Orlando (and this is where he really motors up): "At the end of the year, another goal is to spend a month in my own house. That would really be nice. What would I do? You know, I could supervise things. If it ain't right, it ain't square, if it ain't in the middle. When you look at things and think it could be better, you turn it. Can it be moved? Can it be made again? I'm living in the house, I want it to be right. I'm not going to say ‘I'll live with that.' I want it right. If we don't like it we do it again.' "

Sounds like Faldo, the championship golfer talking. The one who totally rebuilt his swing with David Leadbetter in the mid '80s, built a swing that would not just win tournaments, but majors. If it wasn't right, fix it. Practice dropping a ball. Hit balls until dark. Be committed. Be the best you can be.

"I think he's doing a great job of being the true Nick Faldo," says Ian Baker-Finch, another CBS colleague and former British Open winner. "He has a wonderful personality and sense of humor. But when he played, it was all about Nick. In the '80s, I spent as much time as anyone with him. His wife Gil and my wife Jennie were good buddies. He's 20 years more mature now. Back then he was totally engrossed in what he wanted to achieve. But everyone changes. It's just natural. I think everyone is trying to delve too deeply into that. He is who he is."

And now, he's Sir Nick. Queen Elizabeth chose him for knighthood in 2009 and his investiture was in November.

"It's a very humbling honor, to be recognized for my contribution to my sport," he says, ever so humbly. "My mind went straight back to when I was a kid riding through the woods with clubs strapped to my bike. Wow, a skinny kid from Welwyn Garden City, 35 years later this. An instant flashback to all the roads you have been on. You think you are a knight, and that conjures up Sir Lancelot on his horse. To be Sir Nick, that's pretty cool."

And Sir Daddy. "I told Matthew and Georgia on the phone together, Georgia was screaming," says Faldo. "Little Emma isn't quite so sure. We were watching the movie A Knight's Tale with Heath Ledger, the king is going to knight him, grabs his sword and Emma says, ‘Oh, I can't watch this.' She thought he was going to lop off his head. She looks at Dad and can't put it all together. ‘Are you going to be in a movie? Are you going to fight on a horse?' "


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