Ian Baker-Finch learned a love of golf early in childhood. The youngest of six children, he was impressed with a passion for golf by his parents, who allowed them to play British Opens around their farm in Queesland. After retiring from tournament golf, he became the best known golf comentator.
Less than twenty years later, Ian Baker-Finch would attain the ultimate golfing championship - winning the 1991 British Open at Royal Birkdale, and co-owning the best final 36 hole score at a major world title (64-66-130).
Having won the Under 14 Schoolboy Championship and Gary Player Under 16 Junior Classic, Ian left school at 16 to fulfil the role of Golf Trainee initially at Gympie, then at Caloundra Golf Club. He undertook his apprenticeship with instruction from Gary Wright and Tim Bell, who were instrumental in developing his talent. In 1979, he turned professional, at first touring the local circuit before heading off overseas.
Ian Baker-Finch won his first professional tournament, the New Zealand Open, in 1983. The following year, he led the British Open at St. Andrews for three rounds before tying for 9th place behind Seve Ballesteros, after which an invitation to play in the 1985 U.S. Masters was forthcoming.
After living in Melbourne for two years, he moved to the Gold Coast in 1987 to take up the role of resident touring professional at the new Sanctuary Cove golf resort and married Jennie the same year. In 1988, he won the Australian Masters, shortly thereafter moving to Orlando, Florida, to facilitate touring commitments. In the lead-up to his British Open title, Ian won tournaments in Australia, Japan and the U.S.A., consistently improving on his World Sony Ranking which peaked at 10th place at the conclusion of 1991.
Ian Baker-Finch has seventeen tournament victories to his credit (see attached). Other career highlights include two Dunhill Cup appearances (1989 and 1992) and his place in the World Cup team in 1985. In 1996, he was appointed co-captain of the International team for the Presidents Cup. During the course of his career, Ian has benefited from the guidance of the likes of Peter Thomson, David Leadbetter, Mitchell Spearman and Stephen Bann.
Since relocating the family back to Queensland in 1996 (daughters Hayley and Laura born in 1989 and 1991 respectively), Ian has been consolidating his business activities and refocusing on the game in order to reclaim his world ranking. He has an active interest in course design, property development, sports apparel, retailing and tuition, and is a respected television commentator on the Australian circuit. Ian and Jennie also established a charity trust, which distributes funds raised through charity golf days to cancer research and children's hospitals. Ian is presently on the Board of Directors of the Australian P.G.A. Tour body.
Ian Baker-Finch is currently a member of the American ABC Sport Network's golf commentary team and he is a member of the Seven Network commentary team in Australia. He was honoured to be nominated as an Olympic Torch Bearer for the Sydney Olympic Games.