April 5 2011
By Melanie Hauser, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- What's a Masters rookie to do? How can he jump in and be ready in, oh, three days?
"The most important thing is to understand the greens,'' said three-time Masters champ Nick Faldo. "You need to know where to put it. Especially when you're standing over a shot in wind like this went it's a high 5-iron to a pin three paces on. Good luck with that.''
Yes, Faldo, now a member of the British Empire and hence Sir Nick, was kidding. A bit.
But not about the magic major number -- 62. No one's ever been there, though a group, including Faldo at Royal St. Georges and Greg Norman and Nick Price here, have come close. In fact, Price had a putt for 62 here in the third round in 1986 that banged out of the cup. He said, at the time, that Bobby Jones held his hand up and said enough. Everyone who saw it agreed.
Of course, Johnny Miller set the record in 1973 at the U.S. Open at Oakmont. Norman shot his in the first round in 1996, the year he lost to Faldo. Faldo's came in the second round in 1993 where he finished second to -- yes -- Norman.
"I holed my putt at Royal St. George's after a driver-2-iron for a 63.'' he chuckled. "Those were the days.''
And, no, he doesn't think a 62 is coming any time soon.
"You look at the hole locations and the speed and firmness of the greens. For someone to shoot a 62, that would be tough,” Faldo continued. “There's still a scare factor to it. Trying to hole a putt for a 62 at a major is like holing one for 59 on the regular tour. ''
He grinned and said, “I'm one of those who shot 63. I don't want anyone to shoot 62.''