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Nor did Faldo say two words to him the whole day. For instance, on the third hole, both players made tight little shots. "Nice shot," said Baker-Finch.
"Yeah," said Faldo.
Even Faldo's coach, David Leadbetter, admits Faldo is the anti-Chi Chi. "But he needs to be like that," says Leadbetter. "He can't be Lee Trevino and say 'good shot' every time. He's really not interested in anybody else's game."
Exactly. "I can understand having your game face on during the round," says a popular American player. "But with Nick, it doesn't matter where you see him, he's got the face on. Everything with him is stiff upper lip."
Of course, Faldo and most players do not exchange Christmas cards. Get Faldo in the same room with a group of PGA Tour stars, and the windchill gets dangerous. Here's Faldo on:
•Azinger's future—"It's hard to have a great champion with bad technique. It's like, 'And now, ladies and gentlemen, here's the great champion, Paul Azinger!' " (He imitates Azinger's odd address to the ball.)
•Payne Stewart's American-flag shirt, which Stewart wore on the last day of the 1990 British Open—"That's like me wearing a pair of boxers with the Union Jack on them, sinking a 90-foot putt and dropping them."
•Curtis Strange's furrowed brow at last year's Skins Game, in which Strange won $220,000 and Faldo $70,000—"I could not believe how serious those guys were about it. I'd just won $350,000 in Japan [at the Japanese Skins Game], where Curtis got shut out, and I never mentioned that. Yet Curtis actually seemed proud he'd 'won' the thing."
•Norman's swing—"I have to be honest. I look at his swing, and it's got faults. Under the severest of pressure, will it hold up? It's way too loose."
•Norman's fascination with Nicklaus—"Some of what he does seems too obvious. Moving next door to Nicklaus. Tying up their boats together. 'Design my back garden, Jack.' But when he's playing with Nicklaus, he's always saying stuff like, 'Watch this. I'll fly Jack here. No problem.' I don't know if that's how you treat a friend."