CARY, NORTH CAROLINA | Nick Faldo could have stayed where he was, perched above the game in his commentator’s seat and on the ground with various other ventures including developing young golfers through his Faldo Series. With six major-championship victories on his résumé, a plaque mounted in the World Golf Hall of Fame and having been knighted by Queen Elizabeth, Faldo has been a living model of what a single-minded focus, a persnickety attention to detail and a dogged determination could accomplish in golf. When he turned 50, Faldo ignored the Champions Tour. He didn’t need it the way some players do, to feed their retirement accounts and to fill otherwise idle hours. Faldo let it go. But last week, at age 56, Faldo showed up at the SAS Championship, a late-season Champions Tour event at Prestonwood Country Club and not just for the food, which is good enough to make the event a must-play for tour regulars. It was Faldo’s first U.S. Champions Tour event and it came with all the trappings – a sponsor’s new cars parked around the practice green and golf carts in the fairways. Seeing Faldo there, playing with four pro-am partners on a damp, chilly morning, was almost jarring. Except for the occasional cameo at the Open Championship, most recently at Muirfield in July, Faldo the golfer had been relegated to the insights he offers on television and major-championship retrospectives on CBS and Golf Channel. Maybe that’s all there will be going forward but maybe not.