Nick Faldo offers Rory McIlroy Open prediction after throwing shade at LIV trio

Sir Nick Faldo has once against blasted LIV Golf players as he predicted Rory McIlroy to break his major hoodoo at the forthcoming Open. 

Ben Smith's picture
Sat, 15 Jul 2023
Nick Faldo offers Rory McIlroy Open prediction after throwing shade at LIV trio

Sir Nick Faldo says his old adversary Greg Norman 'hasn't helped' what has transpired in men's professional golf over last 12 months as he predicted Rory McIlroy will have a 'big week' at the forthcoming Open Championship. 

Faldo has long been critical of Norman and even went as far as saying the Australian had 'wrecked his legacy' over LIV Golf's battle with the PGA Tour. 

Now it appears that Norman might be shown the door if the 'framework agreement' between the PGA Tour and the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia gets over the line. 

Related: Rory takes time off from LIV drama to vent (?) about golf equipment

"Greg hasn't helped," said Faldo to MailOnline. "I think this would have been very different if he wasn't there."

He continued:

"The fact that nobody wants to go to the table and talk to him hasn't helped golf at all. In the pro world or the amateur world, nobody wants to have a meeting.
"So that's not good for the game. He's really caused a lot of disruption. Whether he gets sideswiped now and they can all move forward, who knows?"

Faldo has always been firmly against the rival league and even predicted its demise when he hosted the British Masters earlier in the summer. 

He doesn't begrudge players 'taking a boat load of cash' but doesn't believe LIV has transcended the sport. 


Faldo said:

"If you still feel competitive, you wouldn't go there. I get why Lee [Westwood] and [Ian] Poulter are there because they think they can't win. I'm guessing, but I don't know how enjoyable it really is or whether the players are saying to their partners, 'If I play for two years, I will make 10 times what I'm going to make on Tour'".
"I've got no problems with them doing anything. They were being offered a boatload of money. I just don't like the hype of how they think they're changing the game. You go off and whack a ball around a field — what's different? Taxis to the first tee? Team stuff?
"Historic change? Well, no, because you haven't got much coverage on TV, no atmosphere." 

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As for McIlroy, who this week claimed he'd retire if LIV Golf was the only place to play, Faldo believes the Northern Irishman will finally get that major breakthrough. 

The Hall of Famer just wants McIlroy to be a bit sharper with his wedges.

He said:

"I have a feeling he could have a great week. He'd love to get to number five. The only bit which I see through my TV is his wedge play — he must be so demoralised some days.
"He drives it better than anybody, probably in history. Then you hit a wedge to 50ft and might three putt. That is a killer to a pro.
"You do that once a day it might wind you up, but he might do that twice. If he gets the bad shot to 20ft instead of 50, it makes a huge difference.
"I always said my goal was to be really good from an eight iron and down. You don't have to do much else if you can land it where you intend with your short irons. He is 34 — the next five years give him chances at 20 majors. I have a sneaky feeling he will get to five."

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