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Faldo can still help win Ryder Cup

Nick Faldo needed just one word to describe an ill-fated season which has seen him disappearing off the face of the world rankings. "Lousy," he said.

But Britain's greatest golfer is willing to talk longer and louder to ensure Europe's top players enjoy a better experience.

Record-breaker Faldo hid his disappointment at missing out on a 12th successive Ryder Cup with a pledge to help Europe at Brookline later this month.

The 42-year-old accepts he did nothing to warrant a place in Mark James's side, but still wants to help the cause by talking to the seven rookies who will face America on the outskirts of Boston.

"I don't want to tread on any toes, but there are a few tips I could give our team, especially the newcomers," said Faldo as he headed towards Canada and a five-week slog on the US Tour. "I'll get in touch with them to see if I can help or answer any questions they may have."

Faldo, who plans to watch all the action from the biennial match he will miss for the first time since 1977, knows Europe will need every bit of assistance they can get if they are to complete a hat-trick of triumphs against an American side whose only rookie is world No2 David Duval.

"The Americans always look strong on paper and it's been like that for the last few times, but we've still won," said Faldo.

"We must go there with the attitude that we have all to gain and nothing to lose. They still have to win it, so we must turn the pressure on them."

With Duval the only American debutant and a total of 11 Ryder Cups between the entire European team, Faldo believes James's big four must dominate their leading quartet.

"In the old days we had two pairs who were basically unbeatable. There was Seve and Olly, then we always found another one," he said.

"We've got to have that again or it's going to be a long road."

Faldo has no hesitation naming 19-year-old Sergio Garcia as one of those who must lead the European cause, but warns of potential burnout for all those who may have to play five matches.

"The Americans are lucky in that they can always rest somebody without really weakening the team," he said.

Faldo added: "Lee Westwood and I got caught out on the Saturday afternoon at Valderrama.

"We had a 30-minute break after the morning match and then had to face two fresh guys when we were basically shot."

Faldo still hurts from being told by James he had little chance of being a captain's choice even if he had won the final qualifying event in Germany.

"That really bowled me over, it was a killer blow," he said.

But Faldo intends being there on merit next time. He has no intention of giving up, even though the only direction his career has headed for more than two years is down.

"It's amazing how many little things are out of whack with my game," he said. "I'm going to have to have a major rebuild, but I'll keep plugging away."

It is a philosophy he feels the Europeans will have to adapt to prevent America reclaiming Sam Ryder's golden pot - or risk the plug being pulled.

 

Express