Legends Ian and Pete tee off at Noosa Pro Am
LONG gone are the days when one of Australia’s favourite golfing “legends” in Ian Baker-Finch would beat himself up mentally for shooting a three-over par 74.
That’s what he went round in at Noosa Golf Club during his annual turn-out for the popular Pro Am that is part of the Legends Tour, but you still couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
This was a far cry from the super 66 closing round the Sunshine Coaster played to take out the 1991 British Open at Royal Birkdale Golf Club.
“I would love it to be a little bit less,” he said of his Noosa score, “but it doesn’t matter, I’m not doing it for a living anymore,” the always obliging Baker-Finch. said
He said the course was “great and the greens were perfect”.
“It’s beautiful … they always do a good job here, it’s a nice environment.”
The highly-rated US-based golfing commentator and course designer, annually makes it to his Christmas chill out at his Mooloolaba unit for R and R.
Today he was content to soak up the sunshine and the relaxed feel Noosa always gives him playing alongside the likes of another Aussie golfing great in Peter Senior.
As Baker-Finch was signing his card, Senior was just winding up on the practice putting green before teeing off for the afternoon rounds.
Noosa is the perfect lead-in to the Sunshine Coast Masters, where the two of them will play the three-day tournament at Twin Waters and Pelican Waters.
“I’ll always come and play here (at Noosa), I love it. I love the Sunshine Coast and the tournament they put on here is a beauty.
‘It’s a good field.”
Baker-Finch said it would have been even better had it not clashed with the President’s Cup, forcing the Australian Open to be held this week.
“So we’re missing three or four of the top players because they’re playing the Aussie Open.
“But it’s good to have Pete Senior, that’s a great bonus for the event. He’s the best player.”
“The whole week is just a social occasion, you just catch up with the old boys and just keep doing what we’re doing.
“It’s good for the clubs because all the older members of the clubs remember us from the old days. We give them a good time.”
Baker-Finch said he enjoyed playing the Noosa course with a couple of “average Joes”.
“We had a good time – they didn’t beat me up, but there were times when they wanted to,” he joked.
Senior also loves this week of golf mixed heavily with social catch ups.
“We’ve grown up with each other the last 40 years, if we can’t get on now, we’ll never get on.”
Senior appreciates that “Finchy” makes so much time available to play golf locally.
“It’s actually just good to have him here, he pops his face in wherever he can and helps out whenever he can.
“He doesn’t have to do it, but he does it and I think people should be very grateful that he’s even here.”
Senior doesn’t play a lot of golf “at the moment”.
“It’s either a hit or a miss. I’m playing enough to enjoy, but I’ve got a lot of time to do things that I never had a chance to do.
“The last three years we’ve been out of the country probably four months of the year, just on holidays and going to see things I never had a chance to see when we were there (on tour).
“I never take my golf clubs, I don’t play when I go away on holidays and it’s been great.”