Then again, what can the players do about it? Robo-Par is killing them. In 1990 Faldo won the Masters and the British Open and missed the U.S. Open playoff by one lip-out. He won the '89 Masters and the '87 British. In the 14 most recent majors, he has won four times, finished in the top four eight times and made every cut. In that same stretch, Norman has won zip, finished in the top four twice and missed four cuts. Seve Ballesteros: one win, one top four and three missed cuts. Strange: two wins, three top fours and four missed cuts. In last year's majors, Faldo was 22 shots better than anybody else. "He is dominating golf right now," says Nicklaus.
If Faldo keeps playing this well and acting this way, he will outdo Hogan as the most unloved champion in history. "Maybe I shouldn't care," he says.
Naturally, you'd be a fool to believe him.
Nick Faldo is throwing up. This is not easy for a Brit. Brits are proper, and their ties are never crooked, and things don't dribble from their chins. The British hate to be seen out of prim, and Faldo is only slightly more British than tea. This is a man who never wears a hat for fear it will disturb his hair. This is a man who trims his nails on Monday, and Monday only.
Nonetheless, he has his face in the barf bag on this ridiculously cramped and bumpy twin-propeller flight from Palm Springs to Los Angeles, and there is much dinner-revisiting. Still, he handles the situation with grace. Upon finishing, he wipes his handsome face with a Wet One, deposits it in the bag, neatly folds the top of the bag twice and hands it to the stewardess. Then he turns and says to an acquaintance, "Great fun, isn't it?"
The stupid thing is, in private Faldo is great fun. In private, he could not be more polite, chatty and amiable. He does impressions. For instance, Japanese journalists.
"Ahhhh, Misterfaldo!" he barks suddenly. "What is condition?"
"My condition is fine, thank you," Faldo replies to himself.
"Ahhhh, Misterfaldo! How would you like to play?"
"I would like to play well."