Golf

3-Time Masters Champion Nick Faldo Lost $15 Million to 3rd Wife During His Contentious Divorce

Retired golfer and current commentator Nick Faldo — Sir Nick Faldo — still carries a “bad boy” reputation at 63 years old. The former English pro walked away from golf in 2015, leaving behind a legacy of his play as much as his tabloid presence. Even now, as an established broadcaster, he manages to raise eyebrows.

Like Tiger Woods after him, Faldo’s romantic life is the subject of many of his public incidents. He’s been married three times, with varied success in the long-term sense. And Faldo is about to tie the knot for the fourth time.

Golfer Nick Faldo’s three expensive divorces

Nick Faldo holds the Claret Jug with wife Gill and caddie Fanny Sunesson following his win at the 1992 Open Championship
(L-R) Golfer Nick Faldo, wife Gill, and caddie Fanny Sunesson at the 1992 Open Championship | R&A via Getty Images

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Golfers tend to enjoy longevity, but Faldo’s long run still impresses. Starting in 1976, he took European golf by storm, Today’s Golfer reports. He won at least one European Tour event in each of his first three years. By his career’s end, Faldo had 27 more. He crossed over to international golf and earned nine PGA Tour wins and three Masters victories.

Not long after Faldo turned pro, he got wed Melanie Rockall in 1979. According to the Mirror, it was the first of three marriages and ended abruptly. After it was revealed that the golf hero checked into a hotel with a “Mrs. Faldo,” Rockall knew it wasn’t her and filed for divorce in 1984.

Faldo’s next marriage was where the costs started to pile up — and not just emotionally. He married Gill Bennett in 1986, and they had three children. It seemed like, at the height of his career, Faldo was settling down. But, in 1995, he began a relationship with a 20-year-old student and abruptly ended his relationship with Bennett.

She walked away with a $10 million settlement and told The Guardian Faldo was “socially, a 24-handicapper.” The golfer left the student three years later and struck up a relationship with PR consultant Valerie Bercher. They wed in 2001 and stuck it out until 2006.

As Faldo’s golf prowess declined, his broadcasting career grew. With his net worth growing rapidly, his life with Bercher going sour hit his wallet hard, the Daily Mail reports. With a settlement rated at $15 million, Faldo can say he has one of the most expensive payouts from any pro golfer.

Who is Faldo married to now?

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Faldo’s mantra in golf, as he loves to demonstrate on social media, applies to his romantic life, too: “Assess, decide, commit!” But since the sting of his divorce from Bercher, he’s spent more time assessing and deciding than committing. This changed in 2019 when, as The Scottish Sun reports, he committed to Lindsay De Marco, 57.

The pair met in 2018 and got engaged the next year. Being closer in age, at first glance this seems like a thoughtful romantic decision on Faldo’s part. De Marco’s spotty past, according to The U.S. Sun, is what spins this story into something more Faldo-esque.

De Marco reportedly worked as a dancer in the ’80s. She left that field when she wed a customer, Randy Heine, who she married twice, in 1985 and 1988.

De Marco was arrested for marijuana possession and the sale of drug paraphernalia in 1990 while working as an executive for a tobacco retailer. She’s been married six times total, well outpacing even Faldo’s record. 

Nick Faldo’s career as a golf commentator

In between all the romantic drama, Faldo built up an accomplished golf career before transitioning to a lucrative broadcasting career. His final top-10 finish was in 2002, although he continued to golf sporadically through 2015.

Faldo started working commentary with ABC Sports in 2004 and developed his new craft further with BBC. According to Bolavip, he pulls in $8 million a year from his contracts with CBS and The Golf Channel. Faldo and De Marco will likely need the money.

The Jacksonville Daily Record reports that they recently put their $2.5 million Florida home up for sale, presumably to upgrade for their upcoming wedding. Let’s hope Faldo’s latest marriage doesn’t end in another settlement because it could be his costliest yet.