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Golf News: - Posted 28th April 1998

Faldo warns against writing him off

Macau - Out-of-form Nick Faldo responded to his critics today by claiming it was too early to write him off and that there was no reason why he could not rediscover the form that enabled him to win six majors titles.

Speaking at a press conference for the Omega Tour's inaugural Macau Open, Faldo said he had been written off many times before in his career and that he was still physically and mentally strong enough to return to his winning ways.

"In 1991 a reporter was sent to the Irish Open to write the story that I was finished, and unfortunately for him I went on to win the tournament," said Faldo, who three weeks ago carded his highest ever score on the US PGA
Tour when he fired a 12 over par 83 in the MCI Heritage Classic.

"So it's nothing new. During my career I've had great years and I've had bad years, and that's part of any sport, especially golf.
"It's as simple as that - I'm going through a low at the moment, but I'm not too worried about it and I'm just waiting for the wave to change direction."

Never one to miss an opportunity to tinker with his swing, Faldo also described the changes he has made to improve his chances when he tees-up for his Omega Tour debut on Thursday.

"I've just noticed a few things with my leg action recently, especially my left knee which must have thought it was Fred Astaire for a while since it was leaping around so much," added 40-year-old Faldo.

"But I've managed to quieten this down and I feel this has helped. You find one little thing and that then triggers a few more ideas you want to work on. But I feel I'm striking the ball well and everything is nearly there."

Asked if he still had the ability to win another major, a relaxed Faldo  replied: "Who knows? A lot of great players have won majors when they've been in their 40's, and at the moment every part of my game feels fine.

"Physically I'm good, mentally and technically I'm still good, so it's just a matter of piecing it all together and then hopefully my confidence will return.

"Confidence takes a kicking with this game - when things aren't going for you, or when you don't see the ball doing what you want it to do, then it's really tough. But once that turns, and you start getting the confidence back, things will start to happen again."

Renowned for his meticulous approach to the game, Faldo surprisingly admitted he may have been overcomplicating things due to his poor run, and that he might even be suffering from a form of 'analysis paralysis'. Added Faldo: "It's true I've probably been thinking about things a little too much, and maybe the best advice for my game at the moment is to spend more time fishing!

"Obviously when things are going badly you practise as hard as you can - trying to do this, trying to do that - which is what I've been doing for the last couple of months. So maybe I have bogged myself down a little and not found enough time to totally switch off."

The inaugural Macau Open, which represents the fifth leg of the 1998 Omega Tour, will also feature five-time US PGA Tour winner Vijay Singh of Fiji. Singh has had to delay his arrival in the Portuguese enclave until late due to treatment for a painful hip.