At last week's Westin Texas Open at LaCantera Golf Club in San Antonio, Nick Faldo vowed to keep his mind on the tournament he was in, not the one he wasn't. He failed. Having shot himself out of the Open with a first-round 76, Faldo repaired to his hotel room before his 1 p.m. tee time last Friday, forsaking his usual range routine to monitor the Ryder Cup. He was delighted with what he saw. "I told you, we've got big hearts," Faldo said of Europe's stunning 6-2 first-day lead.
Faldo, the alltime leader in Ryder Cup wins (23) and points (25), who had played in every biennial match since 1977, sensed an impending victory for Europe, and despite being in San Antonio, a long way from the limelight, he was in a chipper mood all week. When asked if he thought the Euros would miss him, he said with a wry smile, "They'll miss my wit and charm in the team room."
As has been the case lately, Faldo was missing his game, shooting a 74 on Friday to come up eight strokes short of the cut. He was in a hurry after his round, addressing the question of whether he had wished his old mates luck with a simple, "I've done that," before zooming off to catch a plane. Would he watch the Cup over the weekend? "Yeah," said Faldo, 42. "I've got plenty of time to watch it now."