Wednesday, January 2, 2008

How Many Places Can Nick Faldo Be?

It's a question I had not thought much of, but it is a good one spurred by a column in the Irish Independent. If you'll remember - and how could you not - Nick Faldo was everywhere last year when it came to broadcasting tournaments. He performed duties with the Golf Channel, CBS, and a one week stint back at ABC for the Open Championship. Faldo has agreed to all of those jobs again this year. The problem is that he has added another important job to the docket for this year: European Ryder Cup captain.

It is a tremendous time commitment to be the Captain. From holding meetings and strategy sessions to observing players in Europe and stateside to making picks, Nick Faldo will have a lot to do in the coming months. Can he be a commentator and captain and not be burnt out by doing both?

Colin Montgomerie is quoted in the piece and raises another interesting point.

Yet the pressure will still be on Faldo to perform in the commentary booth, Montgomerie conceded. "He is encouraged to be controversial on television and yet he can't be in his job as Ryder Cup captain. You have to be the ultimate diplomat. nowadays and it is quite difficult."

One suspects that Faldo's performance behind the mike in coming months might be as key to Europe's propects in Valhalla as the performance of the players in front of the cameras.

After taking shots at the European players for being too "chummy" to win a major championship before the Open (that didn't prove true) and publicly trashing Monty for not having enough team spirit, Faldo was openly criticized for his blunt tone. It is that same tone that endears him to US viewers. Will he have to tame it in order to avoid losing the spirits of the players he will both be observing and captaining during the season?

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