Ian Baker-Finch still getting a buzz out of great golf
IAN Baker-Finch, who now calls Mooloolaba home whenever he's back in Australia, can still mix it with the best on the world's golf courses.
He proved it at the Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf tournament in Savannah, Georgia, where he linked up with American Bart Bryant to win the 36-hole Raphael division of the event.
While the main tournament is a 54-hole event, the Raphael division is a 36-hole better-ball competition.
Baker-Finch, who would spend most of his time these days commentating, rather than playing, sunk a 3m birdie putt on the third extra hole to beat Americans Keith Fergus and Blaine McAllister.
IBF was delighted with his performance.
"It's a buzz every time you perform under pressure," he said.
"To win out here with all of the guys that I used to play with - it was great fun."
Bryant, who lives in Orlando, said he was pleased Baker-Finch had invited him to be his partner.
"Ian was clutch, man, in the playoff," Bryant said.
"The last couple holes in regulation and the playoff, he showed his mettle, so it was a lot of fun."
Baker-Finch, the winner of the 1991 British Open, has no regrets about virtually turning his back on competitive golf nearly two decades ago.
"I made my decision a long time ago," he said.
"I decided to spend more time with the family and work with television and I've made my bed and now I've got to lie in it.
"I love to just have that opportunity every once in a while to come out.
"I can't play anywhere near as good as these guys do, but every once in a while to come out and play in an event like this, it's just a great thrill for me."