• Will not be playing his final Open at Royal Birkdale in 2017
• Tournament likely to coincide with the Englishman's 60th birthday
SIR NICK FALDO
Sir Nick Faldo has had a change of heart on his decision to bow out of the Open at St Andrews this summer and will instead compete through until Royal Birkdale in 2017.
The 57-year-old, whose birthday usually falls during Open Championship week, explained his reasons in a tweet last night, saying that 2016 venue Royal Troon was the first Open he attended, while Royal Birkdale was the first Open he played in.
The Open at St Andrews from July 16-19 will be Nick Faldo’s 100th appearance at a major championship and marks the 25th anniversary of his second Open win at the Old Course. He went on to win a third title at Muirfield in 1992, while he also won the Masters on three occasions between 1989 and 1996.
On April 20, it was revealed that St Andrews would be his last Open, with the 30-time European Tour winner saying: “The Open and St Andrews will forever hold a significant place in my heart. My fondest moments on my journey with this great sport are woven with pictures and emotions in this setting. It all means a huge amount to me.
“I look forward to celebrating all that golf has given me as I cross that storied bridge and the wonderful memories I share with many people. I am grateful for it all and grateful to golf.”
Peter Dawson, chief executive of the R&A, added: “Sir Nick Faldo is an inspirational figure in British golf and has enjoyed a remarkable career in the Open. He has delighted the galleries over many years with his three victories and consistently outstanding performances.
“I’m sure there will be great anticipation among the galleries at St Andrews to see him play in the Open once again and he will receive a rousing ovation worthy of a great champion.”
Nick Faldo’s u-turn means that the spotlight will be solely on five-time Open champion Tom Watson, who is making his final appearance at the tournament this July, while Royal Birkdale in 2017 is likely to coincide with the Englishman’s 60th birthday.
Nick Faldo in Open u-turn :: Your thoughts
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