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Nick Faldo

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Nick Faldo

Nick Faldo during the 1996 Masters, site of his final major championship victory.

Stephen Munday/Getty Images

A 6-time major champion, Nick Faldo is one of the greats of English golf and one of the top handful of golfers from his competitive era, roughly the late 1970s through the mid-1990s.

Date of birth: July 18, 1957
Place of birth: Welwyn Garden City, England

Tour Victories:

• PGA Tour: 9
• European Tour: 30

Major Championships:

6
• Masters: 1989, 1990, 1996
• British Open: 1987, 1990, 1992

Awards and Honors:

• Member, World Golf Hall of Fame
• European Tour Order of Merit winner (money leader), 1983, 1992
• European Tour scoring leader, 1983, 1992
• European Tour player of the year, 1989, 1990, 1992
• U.S. PGA Tour player of the year, 1990
• Member, European Ryder Cup team, 1977-79, 1981-83-85-87-89, 1991-93-95-97
• Captain, European Ryder Cup team, 2008
• Knighted by Queen Elizabeth in November 2009

Quote, Unquote:

Curtis Strange: "Nick Faldo stared a lot of guys down. He never choked. He had a way of folding his arms and looking at you as though he knew you were going to make a mistake."

Nick Faldo Biography:

Nick Faldo won five times on the European Tour in 1983. He led the tour in money and scoring. He'd won 12 times total in Europe. But he decided that wasn't enough. He wanted to win majors, so he set to work building a better swing, one that wouldn't crack under pressure. And after going the next three years without a single win, Faldo emerged as one of Europe's all-time best golfers.

Faldo was 13 years old when he watched Jack Nicklaus on television at the 1971 Masters. Cycling had been his sport to that point, but after watching Nicklaus, Faldo turned to golf. He borrowed some clubs, his mother arranged lessons, and two years later he was winning amateur tournaments.

Faldo won the English Amateur Championship in 1974 and the British Youth Championships in 1975. He turned pro in 1976, and in 1977 claimed his first European Tour victory. Also in 1977, he played the first of his record 11 Ryder Cups, becoming the youngest ever (age 20) at the time to compete in the event (a record later bettered by Sergio Garcia). Faldo still holds the European record for points earned.

Faldo was a steady player who frequently found himself in contention, and he posted wins here and there, leading up to his big 1983 season. But he also developed a reputation as a golfer who couldn't close the deal in the biggest events. He was derisively called "Fold-o" in some circles, having shown a knack for choking.

That's when he decided to rework his swing with instructor David Leadbetter. The work culminated with his victory at the 1987 British Open, where Faldo made 18 pars in the final round. Nobody would ever again accuse Faldo of folding in big tournaments.

He went on to win the Open Championship twice more, and added three Masters. His last major was the 1996 Masters, when Faldo came from six shots behind Greg Norman at the start of the final round to win by five.

In all, Faldo won 30 times on the European Tour, had three wins on the USPGA Tour in "regular" (as opposed to major championship) events, and won six majors.

In 2008, Faldo culminated his Team Europe Ryder Cup career by serving as captain. His team lost, however, to Team USA by a score of 16.5 to 11.5.

Faldo's business interests include course design and golf academies, and he does commentary on golf broadcasts. He is an avid fly fisherman. In November 2009, Faldo became Sir Nick Faldo, with knighthood bestowed by Queen Elizabeth.

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