Nick Faldo proved the United States Golf Association were one hundred per cent correct in issuing him with a special invitation to compete in the 102nd US Open Championship with a stunning third round at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York.
The 44 year old Englishman rolled back the years with a performance reminiscent of the time when he was World Number One, a superb four under par 66 representing the best round of the week over the daunting Black Course and propelling him up the leaderboard to two over par 212 overall.
Out in 33, the three time US Open Champion, sporting a ‘I love New York’ baseball cap, got the crowd even further behind him with 20 foot birdie putts at both the 11th and 13th before he rolled in a five footer for another birdie at the 14th.
Even the irritation of a dropped shot at the 15th could not rattle Faldo, another superb tee shot at the short 17th giving him a 15 foot downhill birdie chance which he converted with aplomb before parring the last to the cheers of huge galleries.
"That is as good as I've played for years," said Faldo. "I only missed one fairway and green - the 12th - and that was because I couldn't get there. I hit all other 17 greens which is pretty darned good.
"I am in a good frame of mind this week. I warmed up well before I went out and I just decided to pick my shots, stick to them and hit them and they came off.
"I have done a lot of good work recently and I'm sure if I can keep this level of performance up I can get back into the winners' circle."