Nick Faldo saw his U.S. Champions Tour debut come to an abrupt end Friday afternoon when the six-time major winner was forced to withdraw from the SAS Championship after 12 holes due to an arm injury.
Playing competitively for the first time since missing the cut at the British Open in July, Faldo officially withdrew after pulling his tee shot on No. 13 into the left rough. The Englishman had an early highlight in his opening round, holing out for eagle at the par-4 fifth hole, but aggravated an existing injury in his left elbow when he gestured with his putter on the following green.
'I'm furious because I came here wanting to play,' explained Faldo, who was 1 over on his round Friday at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary, N.C. 'I've got a torn capsule (in my left arm). I've been doing fine, but now I can't grip the (club).'
Faldo, 56, had previously played in the Senior British Open in both 2007 and 2009 but was teeing it up in a U.S.-based Champions Tour event for the first time. He noted that the injury was pre-existing, but that his doctor had indicated he could continue to play before receiving further treatment next month. The aggravation of the injury Friday quickly changed the Englishman's plans.
'I want to play good golf, but I can't play with one arm,' said Faldo, who played the six holes following the injury in 2 over. 'This (arm) has just gone like lead now. I can't grip the darn thing.'
Faldo is currently slated to play in next week's Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn in nearby Conover, N.C., but his outlook is now somewhat uncertain in light of his injury and withdrawal.
'I want to play, that's the bottom line,' he added. 'But this is real, I've got a tear in my capsule.'