Sir Nick Faldo named 2012 Ambassador of Golf
25 June: World Golf Hall of Fame Member Sir Nick Faldo has been named the 2012 Ambassador of Golf by Northern Ohio Golf Charities. The Ambassador of Golf Award is presented annually to a person who has fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course. With a career that includes 39 tournament victories around the world, highlighted by six major championships and 11 consecutive Ryder Cup appearances, Faldo spent 98 weeks as the world's No. 1 golfer. He is widely regarded as the most successful British golfer in history. Off the golf course, Faldo now serves as lead analyst for CBS and Golf Channel, is involved in more than 50 projects as part of Faldo Design, and the Faldo Series has evolved into one of the premier programs for aspiring young golfers.
Faldo will be honored in a ceremony at Firestone Country Club on Aug. 1 in conjunction with the 2012 Bridgestone Invitational.
\We are pleased to add Nick Faldo's name to the illustrious list of Ambassador of Golf honorees," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem, on behalf of the International Federation of PGA Tours. "Few players are held in such high regard, and Nick has earned that respect through a career resume that boasts six major championships, an unmatched Ryder Cup record and a lengthy run as the No. 1 player in the world. He's now an ambassador off the course, known to millions of golf fans as one of the leading voices in television commentary, and his work in developing the Faldo Series has impacted thousands of aspiring young golfers. We look forward to honoring Nick at the Bridgestone Invitational in August."
"I am honored to be recognized in this way by the sport which has meant everything to me over my lifetime," Faldo said. "I am particularly proud that the Federation recognizes the effort of the Faldo Series to grow golf, provide opportunity through this great sport and to develop tomorrow's champions. Thank you to Commissioner Finchem, Northern Ohio Golf Charities and the International Federation of PGA Tours."
Born July 18, 1957, in Welwyn Garden City, England, Faldo was a gifted all-around athlete. At 14, Faldo took up golf after watching the 1971 Masters on his parents' new color television. An early teacher, Ian Connelly, told him, "The easier you swing, the better you'll hit it," advice which helped shape Faldo's syrupy action.
Faldo won 10 titles in 1975 as an amateur and joined the European Tour the following season. Over the next eight years, he displayed a superb short game and putting stroke in winning several tournaments and establishing his career-long brilliance in the Ryder Cup. But Faldo seemed to fall short in major championships, and this did not sit well with his perfectionist nature. At the 1983 British Open at Birkdale, another final-round collapse convinced Faldo that if he was ever going to win majors, he needed to overhaul his swing. For the next three years, he toiled through poor performance as he went through the rigors of a risky mid-career swing change. But the swing that emerged was more solid, more repeatable and more reliable. Faldo's victory at Muirfield in 1987 was the validation, and the five majors that followed have been the proof.
Between 1987 and 1996, Faldo won six major championships -- three British Opens and three Masters Tournaments. Although he has a total of 39 tournament victories around the world, including six events on the PGA TOUR, Faldo's focus has always been on his performance in the Masters, U.S. Open, British Open and PGA Championship. In one stretch between 1988 and 1993, Faldo was never out of the top 20 in a Grand Slam event.
Four of his majors were won in tense battles, either by a single stroke or in a playoff, and often in comeback fashion. At the 1987 British Open, Faldo made 18 pars in the final round and emerged victorious when Paul Azinger bogeyed the final two holes. At the 1989 Masters, he won in sudden death when Scott Hoch missed a 20-inch putt. The next year, Raymond Floyd pulled his approach shot on the second extra hole to give Faldo victory. In 1992 at Muirfield, Faldo lost a five-stroke lead on Sunday, but rallied with late birdies to win his third British Open by one. And at the 1996 Masters, Faldo started the final day six strokes behind Greg Norman, but put together a flawless 67 to win going away.
Faldo's most impressive major victory was the 1990 British Open at St. Andrews. Mastering the Old Course with dazzling iron play, Faldo finished 18-under-par 270 to win by five.
Faldo is the most successful Ryder Cup player ever, having won the most points of any player on either the U.S. or European Teams (25) and having represented the European Team a record 11 times. Faldo holds the record for having played the most Ryder Cup matches (46) and his overall record is 23-19-4. He served as European Team captain for the 2008 Ryder Cup.
In May 1998, Faldo was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame and awarded the MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), and on June 13, 2009, Faldo was given knighthood.
Faldo created the Faldo Series in 1996 to help identify and nurture the next generation of champions through grass-roots initiatives at its tournaments. Thirty-eight annual tournaments now take place in 28 countries worldwide, spanning the UK, Europe, South America, the Middle East and Asia. In total, more than 7,000 young people benefit each year from a unique combination of tournament experience and expert advice, including support and advice from Faldo himself. Faldo Series past winners include major champions Rory McIlroy and Yani Tseng, plus Tour winners Nick Dougherty, Oliver Fisher, Marc Warren, John Parry, Rashid Khan, Melissa Reid, Florentyna Parker and Carly Booth.