Peter Byrne/PA Wire/Press Association Images Nick Faldo at Muirfield yesterday.
# The Open
Faldo plays down rift with McIlroy
‘I’m like a big grandad here’, says the former Ryder Cup skipper as he dishes out more advice.

NICK FALDO HAS attempted to clarify his comments about Rory McIlroy following the opening round of the 2013 British Open

Faldo had previously said that the 24-year-old Northern Irishman should spend more time concentrating on his golf, rather than other distractions.

McIlroy started the year as world number one with a significant gap on Tiger Woods but has struggled throughout 2013 following equipment change, dropping over 70 points behind Woods into second position.

Faldo has claimed he is ‘friends’ with McIlroy but reiterated his argument at Muirfield that the Northern Irishman should keep his mind clear of business interests until later in life.

“When you’re a golfer, concentrate totally on your golf and then you have your family, just keep it minimal,” Faldo said. “Don’t go off, speaking from experience, into the business world because he has tonnes of time for that.

“If you’re going to retire somewhere in your 40s, who knows having won 10 majors, then you’ll be a pretty strong businessman hopefully for the next 50 years of your life.

“That’s what I’m trying to say, because I got involved in business and it completely changed my mind set. I’m friends with Rory, don’t write it any other way, I’ve known him since he was 12, he was a big part of my Faldo series. So I’m like a big grandad here, in a way, saying exactly those things.” Faldo added that he always felt McIlroy’s decision to switch from Titleist clubs to Nike at the end of last year was ‘very dangerous’.

“As I said right from the word go, I thought the equipment change was very dangerous, trying to explain the ‘feel’ factor to people and feel is confidence,” Faldo said.

“He looks a different person, let alone a different golfer, right now than before. “When I saw him at the PGA Championship, what was his line, he said ‘every part of my game is good’. Right, simple as that. “I said, ‘how are you playing?’ and he said ‘every part of my game is good, well better than good’. “But he wouldn’t say that now, would he?”

Watch in horror as Darren Clarke spends more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff*

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