10 of the best: Faldo’s threepeat at Mount Juliet

Mark McGowan

Nick Faldo hits an approach to the 17th at Mount Juliet (Photo: Steve Munday/ALLSPORT)

With the Horizon Irish Open set to get underway in a few day’s time at the K Club, we’re counting down our top-10 from years gone by…..

9. Faldo’s threepeat at Mount Juliet – 1993

From 1983 through 1994, the Irish Open was dominated by European Major winners, with Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Bernhard Langer winning three each, Ian Woosnam winning twice, and José Maria Olazábal winning once. Faldo’s trio of wins came in successive years, twice topping the field at Killarney before completing the threepeat as Mount Juliet hosted for the first time in 1993.


The then five-time Major winner was about to return to the Open Championship as defending champion having won his third open and fifth Major at Muirfield the previous July and the world number one was clearly the man to beat. Woosie, Seve, Langer, Monty and Goosen all placed in the top 25, but it was Olazábal who’d push Faldo all the way to the finish line and beyond.

Less than nine months later, the Spaniard would join the illustrious club of major winners when he donned the Green Jacket at Augusta National, and he’d lead the Englishman by four going into the final round in Kilkenny.

Faldo said on the morning that 65 was his target – a bold one given previous rounds of 72, 67 and 72 again – but he shot exactly that and finished tied with his Ryder Cup teammate.

Back down the 18th they went, and the closing hole, which played 476 yards with water hugging the left side, had been the hardest hole all week, yielding just 12 birdies but taking more than 160 prisoners who made bogey or worse.

Neither player found the green, and it looked to be advantage Olazábal when his bunker shot spun to within five feet and Faldo, playing from the rough, saw his ball roll 12 feet past. But this was Faldo in his prime, and prime Faldo was made for the big occasion.

He’d sink the 12-footer, and now in matchplay mode, the classic matchplay scenario unfolded as Olazábal, with all the pressure squarely on his shoulders, saw his five-footer slide by, handing Faldo the trophy and for the only three-in-a-row in the history of the Irish Open.

Incidentally, it was also the first time that a player had won an event in consecutive years via playoff after Faldo had defeated Wayne Westner on the fourth playoff hole in Killarney the previous year.

Faldo posing with the trophy after completing three-in-a-row (Photo by Stephen Munday/Getty Images)

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