The Loop

Nick Faldo shoots two under, provides some mid-round commentary, in rare European Tour start

January 12, 2017

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Tournament appearances are rare these days for Nick Faldo, but the six-time major champ showed he's still got some game in Thursday's opening round of the BMW South African Open. Making his first regular European Tour start in more than two years, Faldo shot a two-under-par 70.

Faldo is just four shots off the Day 1 lead set by Trevor Fisher Jr. and Keith Horne. Rory McIlroy sits one shot back after an opening 67.

Used to talking about other players' shots from his role as an analyst for CBS and Golf Channel, Faldo even provided a little commentary while his ball was in the air on the the par-4 16th hole. Sort of.

Faldo last teed it up for real in back-to-back weeks in the summer of 2015, playing at the Open Championship at St. Andrews followed by the Senior Open Championship at Sunningdale. Faldo missed the cut in both events.

Before Thursday, Faldo hadn't played in a regular European Tour event since finishing T-73 at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in October of 2014. Faldo will turn 60 on July 18 -- two days before the Open Championship begins at Royal Birkdale.

This would be Faldo's last year of eligibility to compete in the Open as a past champion, but he's previously said 2015 -- when he followed up an opening 83 with a 71 -- was his last start in the game's oldest major.

"How can you top breaking par in your last round of an Open at St Andrews? When someone told me it was also my 100th major, that really sealed it," he told the Daily Mail in April. "I’ve played it over in my mind during the winter but my feeling remains the same as it did last July. You can’t beat that."

Perhaps, not. But a few more rounds like this, and Sir Nick might have to at least think about it.