Nick Faldo is teeing it up this week at the RBC Heritage, a rare PGA Tour start for the Englishman who captured his first win in the U.S. at Harbour Town 30 years ago. According to Web.com Tour player Josh Broadaway, though, Faldo's spot should be given to a more deserving player.
Broadaway took to Twitter Thursday to share his displeasure with the inclusion of the six-time major winner, who now makes his living describing golf coverage on TV rather than hitting shots:
Faldo...REALLY??? Get back in the booth and give the guys a chance to play that are trying to keep their job!! #STEWPID— xHandedbandit (@joshbroadaway1) April 17, 2014
Nick Faldo +3 thru 5.....does anybody know where his shots fall?? And how many guys are competing in the net division?? #CmonMan— xHandedbandit (@joshbroadaway1) April 17, 2014
Faldo is playing this week as a past champion, as is 64-year-old Tom Watson, who won this event in 1979 and 1982. It's a rare tournament appearance for Faldo, 56, who has made only the occasional start at the British Open since he took up full-time announcing duties with CBS in 2006. He last played a PGA Tour event in the U.S. at Harbour Town in 2006, and last fall made his domestic debut on the Champions Tour.
Faldo shot a 6-over 77 during the opening round, a score that left him tied for 125th among the 132-man field. He explained Wednesday that his goal for the week was simply to make the cut, and that these days he practices "one percent" of his regimen from years past.
"Preparation is slim. I'm doing everything on - all on fond memories at the moment, trying to gear myself up a little bit as a golfer," Faldo told reporters. "But between my TV schedule and other things, it's kind of like start preparation on a Monday."
Broadaway noted that with Faldo in the field, the man left as first alternate was Hudson Swafford, who currently sits at 128th on the season-long FedEx Cup points list. Swafford was one of 50 graduates from the Web.com Tour Finals last year and has one top-10 finish to his credit this season - a T-8 at the Sony Open - along with eight missed cuts in 14 starts.
@AlexBudd my point is dont take a spot from a guy that needs to be playing. The first 5 alts aren't making a million to broadcast the wknd— xHandedbandit (@joshbroadaway1) April 17, 2014
The lack of playing opportunities for Web.com Tour graduates is an issue that has been discussed throughout the inaugural wraparound season, and one that again drew debate this week at a meeting of the Players' Advisory Council.