Faldo thinks TV job will help him prepare for captaincy
When Nick Faldo takes over as European captain in 2008, he should have at his disposal a crop of young golfers -- including Ryder Cup players Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey -- who grew up admiring him.
May 05, 2005
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (PA) -- Three-time Masters winner Nick Faldo believes his reputation in the United States can work to Europe's advantage when he captains the European side in Kentucky at the 2008 Ryder Cup Matches.
Britain's most successful golfer triumphed at Augusta in 1989, 1990 and 1996, and such is his profile in the United States he has just signed a contract to commentate for the ESPN and ABC television networks.
Far from distancing him from his European colleagues, Faldo believes this will aid his preparations for Valhalla in Louisville.
"I am delighted that the committee has decided to announce the captaincy for 2008 and can't say how excited I am at the prospect of leading the European side in the U.S.," said Faldo, the winner of three Opens and the Ryder Cup's record points scorer. "The Ryder Cup has always been extremely important to me and I will look forward to planning for that match.
"I've spent a lot of my career in America and have always enjoyed the support of the people and the challenge of competing on the other side of the pond," he added. "I hope that my profile and success in the U.S. will be an advantage to the European team.
"With 11 previous appearances, I have so many fond memories of my time as a player and am honored to be joining the list of great names that have captained the European side in the past," he added. "Having played under five different captains, I've picked up a few tips along the way and hope that I can draw on my own experiences to guide the European side to victory."
When the former world No. 1 takes the reins from Ian Woosnam, who was appointed as captain of the 2006 team, he should have at his disposal a crop of young golfers who grew up admiring his exploits as a player.
Luke Donald, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey -- members of last year's successful team -- will have matured and should provide the backbone of the side, and Faldo is optimistic about what resources he will be able to call upon.
"European golf is in a very good state of health at the moment and players from throughout the continent have proved themselves to be major contenders on the world stage," he added. "Their ability and drive are second to none.
"Above all, though, the European team understands the importance of camaraderie and that is a tradition that I hope to continue into 2008," he said. "We have always succeeded in pulling together as a group of nations that realize the shared importance of an event like the Ryder Cup and I am really looking forward to guiding the team, whoever they may be."
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