On that first day, Faldo was two off the lead of 64, shot by Ray Floyd and Steve Pate. But that wasnt where the real threat would be from in this Open. The real threat would be an American who has always played in streaks ' John Cook.
Faldo held a three-shot lead over runner-up Cook the second round and a four-shot lead after the third. Cook was foretelling the future when he said before the final round, Nick can be beaten because golf is such a crazy game, but if there is anybody who doesnt beat himself, it is Nick Faldo. Hes playing so well you just cannot see him making bogeys. That was correct ' except the part about Nick not making bogeys.
Cook, Pate and Jose Maria Olazabal all would make runs at Faldo before the end would finally come. And Faldo began the round as he had on Day 1 ' driving into the lone bunker on No. 1.
Rains interrupted play early in Faldos round. And he didnt hit a fairway the first three holes. Even though he eagled the fifth with a 5-iron second shot, then sunk the putt, he obviously was struggling. And Cook was making shot after shot after shot.
The par-3 13th was difficult for Faldo, who made bogey after three-putting from 30 feet. That was a loss of two strokes in three holes to the gritty Cook, and more problems were in store on the 14th for Faldo, who buried a drive in a bunker, made bogey, and lost another stroke.
Cook, meanwhile, had found his game. He birdied No. 15 while Faldo was making bogey on the 13th, and then followed with another birdie on No. 16 with a 20-foot putt. Suddenly Cook had a two-shot lead. Faldo had held a four-up lead but had lost six shots to the American in seven holes. Cook had only the 17th and 18th holes to play.
Faldo, about to tee off on the 15th, looked at the scoreboard and told himself, You had better play the best four holes of your life! And he did.
On the 15th, Faldo played a beautiful approach that stopped just three feet away, then made birdie to come within one stroke. Just then, however, Cook had ripped a 3-iron second shot to the par-5 17th, the ball making the green coming to rest 30 feet from the flag.
Cook, though, would three-putt the 17th for par, the second miss coming from just two feet. And then, to compound his bad timing, he missed the green at 18 and bogeyed there.
Faldo was too good a golfer to allow a gift like this to pass. He birdied the par-5 17th, knocking the 4-iron second shot to within 20 feet and two-putting. He wrapped up the victory at the 18th, holing a tense five-footer and making par. He had won a victory which he had almost lost.
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