England (Midlands) Region
23 Oct 17
Peter Baker is relishing the prospect of competing on the European Senior Tour next year despite admitting he found his first experience of it tough going.
The former Ryder Cup star and head PGA pro at South Staffs Golf Club made his debut on the Tour in the Farmfoods European Senior Masters at the Forest of Arden.
And finishing tied seventh as a result of posting a three-over par total of 219 from three negotiations of the Warwickshire course represented an encouraging start.
It saw him finish above seasoned campaigners such as major winner Ian Woosnam and, as well as giving him the chance to play alongside an old friend, the event fuelled his competitive nature.
“It was good to be back on the big stage again," said Baker who became eligible for the Senior Tour when he turned 50 in August.
“I enjoyed getting back into the competition – and it’s been good having something to practise for.
“It’s very different to what I’ve been used to for a while. The hard part was trying to get comfortable again and playing the shots under pressure.
“It was hard work – a tough three days. But I’ve got a taste for it now and there’s a lot of work to do in the winter to get ready for next year. That’s something to aim for and see what I can do.”
Baker was paired with Woosnam for the first two rounds and was three shots adrift of tournament leader Clark Dennis and two behind Paul McGinley at the start of the final round.
However, the USA’s Dennis and Ireland’s McGinley had to settle for sharing second place after Stephen Dodds of Wales pipped them for victory.
Dodds, who began the day on level par with Baker, carded a two-under par round of 70 and clinched victory by a shot thanks to holing a 35 foot birdie putt on the par three 18th.