Tactical Masterstrokes That Conquered Augusta; EXCLUSIVE: DAVID LEADBETTER ON THE REMAKING OF A CHAMPION

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL McDONNELL

THE tactical plan to turn Nick Faldo into a champion again began a month ago on the practice ground at Bay Hill in Florida.

His coach David Leadbetter told him: `Right, we've got a month to get you ready. Let's go to work.'

First they devised a new putting method which they knew would help him cope with the pace of Augusta's fast greens. The idea was to give Faldo a confidence that would spread through the rest of his game if he knew his putting was in order.

Leadbetter said: `We decided that Nick should stand taller so that his arms hung down almost at full stretch and the putting action became more of a pendulum movement.

`This had the effect of making the hands more passive, allowing the shoulders to dictate the pace of the putts.

`There was another beneficial effect, too, in that he was concentrating on the method and not worrying so much about the degree of difficulty of the putt he faced. And of course the more putts he holed with it, the easier and more comfortable it became. …