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Nick Faldo
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Faldo will return - James

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 event.

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 Faldo.

"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.