Baker-Finch struggles in US Champions Tour debut

Ian Baker-FinchIAN Baker-Finch has struggled in his debut on the US Champions Tour beating only two competitors home in the 80 player field at the Toshiba Classic.

Baker-Finch shot 74-79-74 to finish at 14 over and 78th, one place behind fellow Aussie Graham Marsh (10 over).

The 1991 British Open Champion and now CBS golf commentator wasn’t talking up his chances before the event but perhaps will be heartened by his improved stats over the three rounds, particularly his three birdies in the closing 7 holes.

Australia’s Peter Senior was playing in the World Golf Championships event in Miami and didn’t take part.

The 2011 Toshiba Classic was won by Nick Price, who took his fourth Champions Tour title by one stroke from Mark Wiebe at the Newport Beach Country Club.

The 54-year-old Price matched the Champions Tour record with a career-best 11-under 60 in the first round, then closed with consecutive 68s to finish at 17-under 196. He earned US$255,000.

“When I shot 60, everyone was asking how many I was going to win by,” Price said. “Well, you still have two rounds to go. … I made it a little more exciting than I wanted to. I tried not to, but my putter just didn’t let me. I hit the ball so good today so it was a little frustrating to say the least.”

Japan‘s Joe Ozaki and American Michael Allen tied for third at 14 under, with defending champion Fred Couples another stroke back along with Brad Bryant and Robert Thompson.

Price is a three-time major champion and 18-time winner on the US PGA Tour.

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