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Nick Faldo enjoys his senior debut

And that's all from him. Nick Faldo's brief dalliance with the seniors tour ended with a fine shot but a disappointing score yesterday.

After leading on Thursday, Faldo limped in with a 75 to finish eight over par at a windswept Muirfield.

"I'm chuffed," he said at the 18th after his travails had ended with a great approach shot. "I hit a 3-wood and a 3-iron from 214 yards at the last and I hit 213 in 1992. That made my week."

He missed the putt yesterday, however. It could have served as a fitting motif to a week when Faldo hit some great drives with his 3-wood and some fine iron shots, but he found a devastating putting stroke elusive.

The Englishman will return to active golf to play with Huey Lewis at the Dunhill Links in October. His golf season, though, will always be restricted by his broadcast commitments in the US.

"I have a two-week season," he smiled. "I will come back for the Open next year and the Senior Open the week after."

Faldo was relaxed about his efforts at Muirfield. "I hit a couple of good shots today," he said, "but I have been struggling with the putter all week. I will have to do some work on that before I venture out on to the golf course competitively again."

He alternated between the belly putter for the first two days and a short putter for the final rounds.

"The long ones have been causing me trouble," he said of his putting.

Faldo said the Dunhill would be "just for fun". He enjoyed his week at Muirfield where he has won two Open championships. "It's great to be here. It's great to play tough. You had to really concentrate," he said.

"I enjoyed that, but the putting was demoralising yesterday. I enjoyed standing out there today, taking in the scenery. That last shot means I can leave with a smile on my face."

The presence of Faldo certainly increased attendance figures, with more than 7000 spectators turning up yesterday to bring the total for the four days to 27,225.

"The crowds have been great," he said. "They braved the week better than us."

Of his future, Faldo said of the Senior Open: "It's a good one as it comes after the Open and gives me my two-week golfing season.

We shall see where we are in a year's time."

There are no other seniors events, however, on his agenda. "I haven't got the time," he said. With his broadcasting commitments, he said of next year: "My season is pretty solid right now." The Seniors Open "might be my annual event".

He is now back to his day job. He will fly out to America for this week's tournament in Akron to keep a vigilant eye particularly on the Europeans in his role as Ryder Cup captain.

Sam Torrance, who finished as top Briton with Gordon J Brand on seven over, was last night heading for Wentworth and home with a palpable sense of disappointment.

A top-10 finish was not enough to satisfy the Scot who felt he was "robbed" when carding a 6 at the 15th.

He said: "I played well today, though it was tough. The wind was unbelievable again. The crowds were great, though, and it is always a pleasure to play here."



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