SOUTHPORT, England--Can 53-year-old Greg Norman pull off one for the aged
and win his third claret jug on Sunday at Royal Birkdale? Count Nick Faldo,
who famously beat Norman at the 1996 Masters the last time the Great White
Shark held a 54-hole lead in a major championship, among the believers.
"Anybody can say 'relax,' but there has to be a knowing, a self-belief," Faldo said Saturday evening after Norman shot a third-round 72 to take a two-stroke lead on K.J. Choi and Padraig Harrington. "Question: Can he do this? Answer: I've got a funny feeling he can. [Especially] with Tiger not here and everybody pointing the finger in one direction."
Faldo has been won over by Norman's course management the past three days.
"He plays the percentages," Faldo said. "He takes his time. We saw it on 18
[Saturday]. He played his second out to the right and missed it wide, stayed
away from the trouble. You get older. You learn not to take on too much. You
learn how to do what you can do."
Indeed, Norman's past failures are the very things Faldo suggests could
propel him to become the oldest man to win a major. "Well that's the way
everyone learns in life, isn't it? Mistakes and experience, they're the best
*--Ryan Herrington and John Hawkins