Flawless Faldo sets record at the Old Course
Nick Faldo’s immaculate display of precision golf over the Old Course in the 1990 Open produced a record total of 270 — 18 under par — which left his nearest challengers five shots in his wake. It was not until the fourth hole of the final round that he was bunkered for the first time in the championship, the deep trap to the left of the green costing him a rare dropped shot.
After opening rounds of 67-65 he was level at the head of the field with Australian Greg Norman, who had started with a pair of 66s. But while Faldo kept up the pressure with another error-free 67, Norman suffered the indignity of a 76 which dropped him out of the picture.
Typically he recovered strongly the following day to finish with a 69 and a share of sixth place. The greatest challenge on the final day came from American Payne Stewart. He reduced Faldo’s lead from five to two, but drove into the Coffin bunkers at the 13th and when Faldo played a six-iron to within eight feet for a simple birdie at the 15th he had re-established the commanding gap.
Mark McNulty of Zimbabwe joined Stewart in second place thanks to a closing 65. Faldo’s driving accuracy and precision with the irons allowed him to avoid the problems of the Old Course and he did not three putt once, except at the 17th where he deliberately played short all week and elected to putt from off the green.