One of Europe’s greatest Ryder Cup players, Sir Nick Faldo, once received a ridiculous comparison from one of his American opponents, with Scott Hoch comparing the golfing great to former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Hoch made the comment while he was making his second appearance at the Ryder Cup. It was 1997 when Faldo last played in Europe’s final event.
And Hoch, speaking about his rival, remarkably commented: “Nick Faldo is as much fun as Saddam Hussein.”
The pair’s history together does not stop at the Ryder Cup, as both Hoch and Faldo famously played out one of the most dramatic Masters play-offs of all time at the 1989 event at Augusta National.
Hoch had a golden opportunity to secure the coveted green jacket on the opening play-off hole.
Hoch missed the title-winning putt at two feet, which would have extended the play-off to the second hole.
Hoch would be disappointed by Hoch’s agonizing missed putt as Faldo won the next hole to claim his first of three Masters titles. He had just followed up his 1989 victory with back-to-back victories in 1990 and 1996.
Despite the criticisms of his personality from his US rival, there is no doubting Faldo’s ability on the golf course, most notably on the biggest stage of all at the Ryder Cup.
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The Englishman enjoyed a remarkable career in the blue and gold of Europe, having won the event five times in his 11 appearances.
Faldo, who amassed 25 points, is now second on the all time European points list after Sergio Garcia (25.5).
Faldo’s stellar Ryder Cup playing career led him to become the European captain for the Valhalla 2008 event.
However, he was unable to transfer his playing successes into his captaincy as the American’s picked up their first victory in three attempts, as they defeated the European’s 16 ½ – 11 ½ in Kentucky.
As they try to win their fifth consecutive event, the two teams will again clash at the 43rd edition. Padraig Harrington is in charge of Europeans at Whistling Strits.