ausgolf's tribute to Ian Baker-FinchCountry - Australia
MAJOR VICTORIES (1)
British Open - 1991
Ian Baker-Finch turned pro in 1979, and won the first of his 16 championships in 1983 at the New Zealand Open in Auckland. His first major victory in Australia came at the 1987 Australian Matchplay Championship at Kingston Heath. This was followed in 1988 by a stunning playoff win in the Australian Masters where he knocked a five iron within a metre of the cup on the first playoff hole to beat Craig Parry and Roger Mackay. He has a host of Australasian PGA Tour victories most notably the 1990 Coolum Classic, 1992 Vines Classic and the Open titles of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia.
Among his credits he has won tournaments on all four major tours, including the 1989 Colonial Invitational (USA), the 1988 ASO Open (Japan), the 1985 Scandanavian Open, and the 1993 Australian PGA.
But Baker-Finch's moment of glory came in 1991 when he won the British Open at Royal Birkdale Golf Club. His final round 66 was one of the greatest ever in major championship golf and included an outward nine of 29 where he birdied 5 of his first 7 holes. His final 36 hole total (64-66) is the best ever by an Open Champion.
Sadly Baker-Finch's game deserted him in the years following his Open victory and he has since turned his hand successfully to golf course design, management and TV commentary for the ABC in the United States. His course design work includes the impressive Golf Club at Kennedy Bay regarded by some as Australia's most authentic links golf experience. He recently bought a share in The Greg Norman designed Glades golf course on the Gold Coast and will be managing the course with the help of Troon Golf.
Official Tour Victories
1983 New Zealand Open, 1984 WA Open, 1984 NSW Open, 1985 Queensland PGA, 1985 Victorian Open, 1985 Scandanavian Open, 1987 Australian Match Play, 1987 Polaroid Cup (Japan), 1988 Australian Masters, 1988 Pocari Sweat (Japan), 1988 ASO Open (Japan), 1989 Colonial Invitational (US), 1990 Coolum Classic, 1991 THE OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP, 1992 Vines Classic, 1993 Australian PGA Championship.