Golf Monthly editor-at-large Bill Elliott bids farewell to Nick Faldo after his last Open Championship round on the Old Course at St Andrews
SO Nick Faldo’s St Andrews odyssey is over, the lolloping six-major man pulling on that old, yellow sweater he wore last when winning here to play the final hole.
And as he made his way up the 18th he finally got what he always really wanted, genuine affection wafting out of the gathered punters and heading directly towards the most gilded golfer England has ever produced.
He finished with a one under par 71, his most significant birdie coming at the Road Hole where he putted in from off the green before raising his arms in triumph. At 10 over par he is now finished here but at least he got his big send-off which is more than Tom Watson may receive if he manages to finish tonight.
Given that it will be past supper time when The Great One yomps over those final yards there might well be not much more than a few men, a disconsolate woman and a bored dog to say farewell to one of the very finest Open competitors. I hope not, he deserves better.
Meanwhile the name that jumps out of the leading posse right now belongs to erstwhile male model Adam Scott. This is the last Open the amiable Australian will be able to play with his long putter and he is clearly trying to make the very best of it.
Related: history of the Old Course
Who knows if he can go on to win now but here’s a thought…what if he does win and what if he then looks at the R&A crew and says thanks but no thanks, that’ll do me for Opens! Unlikely, of course, but a deliciously ironic thought.
What is a fact is that the Open organisers are currently more concerned with how strong the wind is for the third round when that eventually gets under way. The forecasters are currently predicting proper wind up to at least 45 mph. This is a major concern.
At that speed balls can begin moving on greens especially on the holes around the loop of this Old Course. This would mean an instant cessation of activities and this Championship could very well then be destined to run on into Monday. It doesn’t bear thinking about but someone has to.
This someone is Peter Dawson who is overseeing his last Open before heading off who knows where to do who knows what. Believe me, it is not the finale he is dreaming about.