Faldo will return
Mark James expects
Nick Faldo to react to his Ryder Cup omission by fighting his way back
into the side for The Belfry in 2001 - and beyond.
But the reaction may
already have started. Faldo finished the BMW International Open in Munich
by equalling his lowest round of the season with a second 67 of the week.
It still left Britain's
deflated former world number one well down the field on nine under par
- but it underlined his determination to climb the golfing ladder again.
James, the man who
took the decision to end Faldo's record-breaking 11-match run stretching
back to 1977, said: "I know Nick's going to have another Ryder Cup
or two and I think he will probably win more majors.
"I think he's
committed; he's done everything right to try to get his game back, and
I admire him professionally enormously.
"But the fact
is that there's a limit to how far down the list you can go, and if you
pick someone when their form is not good enough then I don't think you're
doing them any favours.
"I've been in
the situation in the Ryder Cup of being in the team and not being on form,
and it's not a nice experience."
Faldo said he was
"gutted" after asking James whether he had a chance of a wild
card and being told it was unlikely even if he won the final qualifying
When the six-major
winner then shot a third-round 72 in Munich to put himself out of the running
for the title James confirmed that there was now no chance of him naming
"I hope he has
got some more motivating lines for the rest of the team," commented
Faldo, who believed that despite his slump to 192nd in the world and two-and-a-half
years without a solo win he could still be an asset at Brookline.
After the confidence-boosting
round he added: "One line that he James threw at me was the killer.
"It was the one
saying that even if I won I was unlikely to be picked. That's good for
the deflation. That one line knocked me over."
At 51st in the Ryder
Cup table entering the event even a Faldo win would take him only to 22nd
at best in the final standings, and James has always said he was unlikely
to go outside the leading 20 for his picks.
But Faldo added he
would not even have flown to Germany from last week's United States PGA
championship in Chicago if James had told him his thinking there.
But as the verbal
ping-pong continued James replied: "I think you ought to ask him if
he was right to ask. If I say nothing he's not happy; if I say something
he's not happy.
"I don't think
this should be made public. Nick's come to me for clarification and suddenly
he doesn't want to hear what I've got to say to him."
Faldo declared himself
"worn out" by trying to play both the American and European tours
this season in a bid to save his place.
He has already decided
that his main focus next season will be in the States.
Faldo holds the record
for most caps (11), most points (25) and most wins (25). He was also the
youngest player ever to appear when he made his debut aged 20 in 1977,
but that record will be taken by 19-year-old Sergio Garcia in Boston.
He has been an ever-present
ever since, and that run includes the wins in 1985, 1987, 1995 and 1997
and the tie in 1989.
Faldo's pitch to the
final hole against Curtis Strange four years ago was named 'Shot of the
Year', and at Valderrama he and Lee Westwood - a cup rookie then - were
used in all four sessions by captain Seve Ballesteros.
Brookline is also
the course where he lost a play-off to Strange for the 1988 US Open.