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Faldo hoping on US Open invitation

It was Memorial Day in America yesterday and you would have to assume that no special meetings were convened by the United States Golf Association to discuss whether they should extend a last-minute US Open invitation to Nick Faldo. Word has it that the subject could come up this morning.

To his fans, it seems incomprehensible that Faldo, a winner of three Masters and three Opens and still a tournament regular, is not an automatic fixture in every major. That, though, is not how these things work.

When Faldo won the 1996 Masters, the perks included a five-year exemption for both the Open and US Open.

It was not something he needed for our Open. As a past winner, he is eligible to play until the age of 65. But it did come in handy for the US Open, an event in which he lost a play-off to Curtis Strange in 1988.

With the five years spent, Faldo must do as others in striving to make next month's US Open by another channel. Top 50 in the world at the end of last week would have sufficed - he was 62nd - as would first or second place in the current Volvo Order of Merit (he is 13th).

On Sunday, after his closing 69 and share of fourth place at Wentworth, Faldo still had his fingers crossed that he might get an invitation. At the same time, he was debating whether to put himself through US Open qualifying.

"All good things come to an end," is what he said of how his unbroken run of 59 majors could have come to a full stop.

The intriguing thing about Faldo is that he is playing patches of golf from his hey-day, with pride of place going to his 67 in the second round of the Masters and his inward 31 at Wentworth on Friday.

Laura Davies, who followed Faldo last week in her role as a foot soldier with BBC TV, is among those who believe that the 44-year-old could have a seventh major in him.

Davies's one concern is his driving. With Eduardo Romero sometimes 50 yards past him off the tee on Sunday, she feels he has to uncover some extra yards.


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