Ian Michael Baker-Finch is a professional golfer born in Nambour, Australia on October 24, 1960. He is famous in the golfing world for winning the 1991 British Open Championship, because his triumph was a big surprise to the public and to his fellow contenders.
Turning professional in 1979, Baker-Finch lists Jack Nicklaus, the great American golfing legend, as his most significant influence in the sport. Nicklaus’ book entitled, “Golf My Way,” proved to be Baker-Finch’s bible when it came to playing on the green.
Baker-Finch earned his first professional win in the New Zealand Open in 1983. His triumph in the event earned him a ticket for the 1984 British Open, where the victory was cruelly snatched away from him because he lost in an unexpected manner; he took a 36-hole lead in the first set of rounds, but he disastrously lost on the last rounds, finishing ninth in the end.
Like most Aussie golf pros, Baker-Finch first played on the PGA Tour of Australasia. When he joined the Euro Tour, he won the Scandinavian Enterprise Open in 1985. His win earned him an inclusion in the top twenty on the order of merit for two consecutive years, in 1985 and in 1986. While playing on the European Tour, Baker-Finch won titles in Australian Tours and participated in golf tournaments in other parts of the globe, including the Japan Golf Tour.
Before his surprise win at the 1991 British Open, Baker-Finch finished third in the World Series of Golf in 1988. The following year, he won his very first PGA Tour title at the Southwestern Bell Colonial. His victory gave him the PGA golden ticket, a two-year exemption on the Tour.
He won sixteen (16) tournament titles, two from the PGA Tour, ten (10) from the PGA Tour of Australasia and three (3) from the Japan Golf Tour.
Presently, Baker-Finch is looking forward to 2010, when he’ll be able to compete in the Champions Tour after he turns 50 in October that year.