Open Championship: Nick Faldo happy to be back at Muirfield
Nick Faldo is just happy to sharing the Muirfield fairways with champions when he tees it up in the Open Championship.
Last Updated: 18/07/13 9:10am
Sir Nick, a winner at the Scottish links in both 1987 and 1992, has played just 36 rounds of golf in the last three years but was unable to give up the chance to play with Tom Watson and Fred Couples.
Faldo has no delusions of grandeur this week and will be surprised if he comes anyway near the cut mark.
"I'm 56 on Thursday," he said. "About two months ago I was at my gym at home and I thought 'You're just strong enough to have a go. It might be the last chance I get to walk with fellow Open champions'.
"I've bumped into my old physio and he started poking about on my shoulder. I've bumped into Justin Rose's sports psychologist and I've gleaned a few gems there.
"But when you see the test that they've prepared you start grand ideas of survival, of how close to the cut could I get?
"That would be impressive for a guy that hasn't hit a competitive shot for three years."
Faldo had some advice for Rory McIlroy ahead of this week's event as the Northern Irishman bids to win the Claret Jug for the first time.
"I actually think it's a lot going on in his mind," Faldo said of the youngster, who has had a poor year by his standards.
"You need 100 per cent concentration, off the golf course, practising, as well.
"Most ideal I can think is to go to the club at nine in the morning, hit balls all day long, and leave at five. You have to do that.
"You have a 20-year window of opportunity as an athlete. Concentrate on golf, nothing else. When you retire (in your) 40s, 50s, hopefully you have another 40 years to enjoy it.
"Just concentrate on golf, nothing else. That's my only words of wisdom to Rory."