Faldo Apologises For 'Rookie Mistake' In Masters Final Round

Sir Nick Faldo has apologised after revealing a moment of Masters magic before it had aired

Nick Faldo stands and watches on at Augusta National
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sir Nick Faldo was left red-faced after giving away Rory McIlroy's miraculous bunker shot at Augusta National moments before it aired to the world. "I don't want to spoil it," Faldo said moments before the camera turned to the Northern Irishman on a tape-delay. "But something incredible has just happened."

McIlroy made a Sunday charge at the Masters with six-birdies and an eagle after starting the day 10 shots adrift of eventual winner, Scottie Scheffler. The 32-year-old closed out his tournament with an unbelievable bunker shot that found the bottom of the cup as he equalled the lowest final round score in Masters history and his best finish at Augusta National so far. 

Speaking of his mistake on 'The Dan Patrick Show', Faldo said: “I know that was a rookie mistake but I’m sitting right in there when it happened, and it was just off the charts.” The Englishman added: “And so Jim’s talking to me and asking me a question. When you hear the patrons roar, the crowd go nuts, you can’t come back and go ‘let’s look at Rory live on the bunker on 18’ because you know it’s now on tape.” 

The three-time Masters champion was accepting of his mistake but credits Rory McIlroy as the reason for it happening. The Northern Irishman was chasing down leader, Scottie Scheffler, with the Green Jacket the illustrious Major between him and the career Grand Slam. The 64-year-old said: “I got caught up on that for a split second and I reacted and the heat of it. And so you’re right, I got it all wrong for a split second.

“I seriously was shaking because I thought, ‘Rory is going to win the Green Jacket.’ I thought, ‘something could happen.’ You know, he’s trying to. We know the story. He pulls off an impossible shot, and his reaction, and I’m sitting right in the middle of it.”

Rory McIlroy celebrates after bunker shot at the Masters

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Faldo amassed over 40 wins in his professional career, including six Majors, and spent a total of 97 weeks at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking. Since 2006, he swapped dominance on the course for that of the broadcasting studio with CBS and attributes this moment as his only error.

“So I’m sorry, I blurted,” Faldo said. “I didn’t actually say what happened. So yeah, spoiler alert, but I guess, a rookie mistake. But gosh, when you’re in it, you can tell that I love it. I’m right in the midst of it literally, and then he pulls off that because then anything could happen "I’ve been up there for 18-odd years, but that was my first cockup.”

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James Hibbitt
James Hibbitt

James joined Golf Monthly having previously written for other digital outlets. He is obsessed with all areas of the game – from tournament golf, to history, equipment, technique and travel. He is also an avid collector of memorabilia; with items from the likes of Bobby Jones, Tiger Woods, Francis Ouimet, Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Adam Scott and Ernie Els. As well as writing for Golf Monthly, James’ golfing highlight is fist bumping Phil Mickelson on his way to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield in 2013. James grew up on the east coast of England and is the third generation of his golfing family. He now resides in Leeds and is a member of Cobble Hall Golf Club with a handicap index of 1.7. His favourite films are The Legend of Bagger Vance and Tin Cup.