Throughout an illustrious playing career, Nick Faldo was known as a stoic competitor who rarely let his guard down. It was a famously even keel – he won The Open in 1987 with 18 pars in the final round – that maintained a laser focus at the moment, devoid of context.
Sunday afternoon, Faldo allowed himself to soak it in.
This week’s Wyndham Championship marked the final telecast for the longtime CBS lead analyst alongside Jim Nantz, as Faldo announced his retirement from the booth earlier this summer.
The emotion was palpable during the final round at Sedgefield CC in Greensboro, North Carolina, as colleagues provided colloquial tributes; Faldo even mused in appreciation for Wyndham Championship winner Joohyung Kim’s English name “Tom,” inspired by the venerable British television series “Thomas the Tank Engine.”
As closing credits approached, Faldo found difficulty holding it all together. As colleagues Nantz, Ian Baker-Finch and Frank Nobilo rose to provide a standing ovation, the moment’s significance transcended the television screen.
“I blew it,” began Faldo before halting to compose himself. I have paused for a few seconds.
“I was already…”
Faldo wept for a few more moments as his colleagues provided encouragement in the booth.
“Hang on. Five seconds breathing. OKAY.”
“You’ve got this,” offered Nantz, his broadcast partner of 16 years.
Faldo was ready.
“So I was on a boat in Ireland,” he said. “They gave me a call and said, ‘How would you like to sit next to Jim Nantz?’ I literally fell out of the boat. I really did. That was 2006, and here we are, 16 years later.”
I have paused again.
“It’s been an amazing run,” said Nantz.
Nobilo and Baker-Finch then took a few seconds to provide parting thoughts and praise Faldo’s love for the game.
Faldo thanked the CBS production crew before summoning the composition for his final message to colleagues and viewers.
“I’m a single child,” Faldo said. “And I’ve found, at 65, three brothers. Thank you.”
Faldo announced his retirement from broadcasting in mid-June; he will be replaced by Trevor Immelman as lead CBS analyst alongside Nantz.
Faldo, a six-time major champion, brought a player’s perspective to the booth, incorporating his insights on the strategy behind players’ decisions at key moments. He has moved to Montana with his wife Lindsay; the couple is renovating a farm. He looks forward to spending time with his family, three dogs and wildlife.
“I have been on the road since I was 18 years old,” Faldo said earlier this summer. “That’s a long run of airports, hotel rooms and restaurant meals.”
Regarding his future plans, Faldo held up a book on how to raise miniature cows as pets and offered a smile through the tears.
“I’m ready,” he said.
Faldo made his first TOUR start in 1979 in Greensboro. I have signed off for the final time in Greensboro.
It was appropriate. It was heartfelt. And the credits rolled.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism