Faldo forced to play the best four holes of his life
After nine holes of the final round in the 1992 Open at Muirfield Nick Faldo had a comfortable four-stroke lead over American John Cook. But a poor wedge approach to the 11th, three putts at the 13th and a bunkered tee shot at the 14th saw him scatter shots in an uncharacteristic fashion. At the same time Cook, who had won two US Tour events in the weeks leading up to Muirfield,had birdied the 15th and 16th to move two shots ahead.
That’s when Faldo bore down on himself. The controlled half five-iron which he nursed to within three feet of the flag at the 15th was as perfect a golf shot as he had ever hit. He saved par with an exquisite chip from behind the green at the next and missed an eagle opportunity at the long 17th by a fraction of an inch.
Cook had failed to take advantage of the par five, missing a second putt of less than three feet and when he blocked a two-iron second to the last hole and failed to make par, Faldo knew he needed four at one of the game’s greatest finishing holes to recapture the title he had won at Muirfield five years earlier.
After a perfect drive he faded a three-iron against the right to left wind, holding the ball arrow-straight on the pin. His approach putt finished within a foot and a simple tap-in secured his third Open title.
Faldo’s rounds of 66-64-69-73 gave him a total of 272, one shot ahead of Cook and two in front of Jose Maria Olazabal.