Baker-Finch a Steady Winner in 1991

By George WhiteJune 22, 2001, 4:00 pm
It was the week that will live forever in the scrapbooks of Ian Baker-Finch. Before his swing mystifyingly went away because he wanted to get more yardage, Baker-Finch got a little tease: this, he learned, is how golf can be.
Nick Faldo was a 6-to-1 favorite to win on the Royal Birkdale course when the tournament started, but he had just developed an irritating tendency to yip short putts. So on the first day, the leader was Seve Ballesteros with a 66. Baker-Finch wasnt among the leaders either of the first two days, but in the third round he made birdie on three of the first five holes and shot a course-record 64, good for a tie with his friend and neighbor from Orlando, Fl. - Mark OMeara.
OMeara was having back problems and sleeping on the floor of his hotel room. He said on Saturday, Im going to play tomorrow, if I have to crawl out. Baker-Finch had been tied for the lead after three rounds as a raw Australian kid in 1984, dabbled with the lead in 1990. I will remember the pain of 84 and the experience of 90, and do it, he said in a prophetic statement.
Nine players were within three shots of the lead when round 4 began. Among them were major winners Ballesteros and Faldo, and within five were former major champs Wayne Grady, Ian Woosnam, Bernard Langer and Curtis Strange. All, it seemed, would be stiff competition for Baker-Finch.
But their threat never materialized. Baker-Finch was single-minded in his focus. On the fourth hole, he rolled in a six-footer for birdie, and suddenly his lead had grown to three shots over Eamonn Darcy and four strokes over playing partner and neighbor OMeara. All he had to do was hold himself together, and this he did all way to the Claret Jug ceremony.
When I got four or five ahead, said Baker-Finch, all I thought was, Boy, youd better not stuff up now, or youll really cop it.
Thats Australian for dont choke. Baker-Finch didnt, and won a British Open in the process.
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Tiger Tracker: Tour Championship

By Tiger TrackerSeptember 20, 2018, 8:20 pm

Tiger Woods is looking to close his season with a win at the Tour Championship. We're tracking him this week at East Lake Golf Club.

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Watch: Highlights from Tiger's first round at East Lake

By Golf Channel DigitalSeptember 20, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is back at the season-ending Tour Championship for the first time since 2013, and he provided the fans in Atlanta with some highlights on the first day of competition.

Still looking for his first win of the year after coming close on numerous occasions, Woods started the day off by splitting the fairway on the first hole with the driver, not even bothering to watch his ball land.

Despite the picture-perfect opening tee shot, Woods would go on to bogey the first hole, but he rebounded with back-to-back birdies on 5 and 6, making putts from 26 and 15 feet.

Tiger's best shot on the front nine came on the par-4 seventh hole after he found the pine straw behind a tree with his drive. The 14-time major champ punched one under the tree limbs and onto the green, then calmly two-putted for par from about 40 feet en route to a front-side 1-under 34.

Woods added two more birdies on the par-4 12th and 14th holes, rolling in putts of 3 feet and 7 feet after a couple of great looking approach shots.

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Garcia (66) peaking for Ryder Cup?

By Ryan LavnerSeptember 20, 2018, 6:17 pm

Sergio Garcia might be finding his form just in time to terrorize the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

Garcia made seven birdies during an opening round of 5-under 66 to sit just two shots off the early lead at the European Tour’s Portugal Masters.

It was Garcia’s fifth consecutive round of par or better, a stretch that includes rounds of 66-65-67-70-66. That solid play at the Wyndham Championship wasn’t enough to extend his PGA Tour season – he didn’t qualify for the FedExCup playoffs – but the Spaniard is starting to round into form with the Ryder Cup on deck.

Full-field scores from the Portugal Masters

A few weeks ago he was a controversial selection by European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn. After missing the cut in all four majors, Garcia could have been left at home in favor of such players as Rafa Cabrera Bello, Matt Wallace (a three-time winner this season who, once again, is at the top of the leaderboard in Portugal), Matt Fitzpatrick or Thomas Pieters. But Bjorn tabbed Garcia, noting his Ryder Cup experience, his sterling foursomes record and his influence in the team room. If Phil Mickelson is the U.S. player under the most pressure to perform in Paris, all eyes will be on Garcia next week – especially since it could be one of his final opportunities to wear a European uniform, as he’ll be 40 for the 2020 matches.

Garcia’s 66 matched his lowest opening round of the year and puts him in position to secure just his second top-10 since March.

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Watch: 100mph storm destroys tent at St. Andrews

By Grill Room TeamSeptember 20, 2018, 4:25 pm

The Old Course at St. Andrews has endured all sorts of wacky weather over the years, but things ratcheted up a notch this week with the arrival of Storm Ali.

The first named storm of the season struck Wednesday, bringing 100 mph gusts, killing two people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power in parts of Ireland, Scotland and England.

According to the Courier no one was injured in the St. Andrews area, but a video posted from the home of golf shows just how powerful the storm was as wind absolutely destroyed one of the hospitality tents set up in advance of the Dunhill Links Championship:

While plenty of clean-up is sure to be needed, officials say the Dunhill Links, which also be conducted at Carnoustie and Kingsbarns, will go on as scheduled October 4-7.