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Golf News: - Posted 26th January 1998

Baker-Finch calls it a day

Sydney, Australia - The 37-year-old Australian Ian Baker-Finch announced his retirement from tour golf. His most noted victory came at the 1991 British Open, and since then has had a steady decline in his game.

The slump was marked by swing adjustment after his British Open win and reached its depth in the first round of last year's British Open at Royal Troon, where he shot 92 in the first round and withdrew.

On his return to golf a last month, he deliberately disqualified himself from Coolum Classic Pro-Am due to a string of shots in the water. At the time, he was already at 8-over-par.

Baker-Finch now plans to play golf with his friends and concentrate on his business interests, which include golf course design and a share in a golf teaching academy.

"I have hung up my clubs and given up serious practice," Baker-Finch said in a story published Monday in News Limited newspapers. "I just want to enjoy the game with friends and learn more about golf course design."

Baker-Finch retains the right to play in the next four British Opens under the 10-year exemption he got for winning in 1991 at Royal Birkdale. He tied the British Open record with a 130 total over the closing 36 holes. This will be the first time in seven years that the British Open is played at Royal Birkdale.