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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 188
For so long Norman’s kryptonite, Faldo’s history with him meant you knew if there was a player who could have inflicted these fatal cuts, it was the inexorable Englishman. It scarcely needs recollecting that Faldo turned the six-stroke overnight deficit into a five-shot triumph, with Norman lamely parring the last hole to just stave off Phil Mickelson for second place as the champion punctuated his comeback with a last-hole birdie, arms raised. Hurt as it may, I heartily agree with the sentiment that Faldo doesn’t get enough credit for shooting the lowest round of the day while in pursuit. It’s half my life ago now yet in so many ways it feels like yesterday. I was in the habit at the time of video-taping the final round of majors (hands up who remembers VCRs?) to enjoy down the track. On that Sunday night I eagerly unwrapped a fresh new tape, thinking the next morning I would be recording Australian sports history. Oh, I did that all right – just not in the way any of us had expected. Truth be told, I still have the tape; somewhere. In the two decades since I have never watched it even once. And I never will. It would be like reliving a funeral. I recall spending the rest of that Monday in a stupor, unable to either concentrate on uni lectures or completely process what I’d seen that morning. The next day’s newspapers offered little comfort. On that battleground of the 18th green, Faldo implored Norman to not “let the bastards get you down over this”, a moment of magnificent magnanimity that didn’t match Faldo’s steely persona of the day.
GA Express 187
GA Express 189