Former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker got his career back on track by winning the Credit Suisse Challenge after an unbelievable day of low scoring at Wylihof Golf Club.
Baker, three times a winner on The European Tour, took the €22,400 first prize after an excellent final round of six under 67 at the par 73 Wylihof gave him with a winning total of 20 under 272, one stroke clear of Scotland’s Andrew McArthur, who made an astonishing eight birdies on his final round front nine to reach the turn in 28 strokes.
“I can’t remember winning tournaments being that difficult!” smiled Baker, whose last victory came on The European Tour 13 years ago at the Scandinavian Masters.
“I’m delighted– it definitely feels like I am on the way back now and I am going to keep playing on the Challenge Tour and try and win my card through the top 20 on the Rankings.”
While McArthur was making his charge at Baker, and third round leader Marco Crespi of Italy, Julio Zapata , who led after the weather affected first round, was compiling the lowest score of the week, a stunning ten under par 63 that included a hole in one at the par three 13th hole.
Argentine Zapata was the first of the emerging contenders to finish, posting the clubhouse lead of 16 under 276. But, with Baker, Crespi and McArthur all passing that mark out on the golf course and playing so well, Zapata knew he would have to settle for a top five finish.
With Crepsi faltering over the last few holes (he eventually finished in a tie for sixth place), it came down to a straight shoot out between Baker and McArthur, with the Scot signing for a nine under 64 to set the new clubhouse lead of 19 under 273.
With two holes to play, and a two stroke lead, Baker drew on all of the experience he gained as a European Tour champion and former Ryder Cup player to par the 17th and then finish with a comfortable bogey five on the last to record his first Challenge Tour victory and move to 11th place on the Rankings with €33,357.
Baker, who Vice-Captained Ian Woosnam during Europe’s record equalling Ryder Cup win over the USA at The K Club last year, rediscovered his putting form at Wylihof by using the same Ping B-60 putter he had won three points out of four with at The Ryder Cup at the Belfry in 1993.
“I got the old Ryder Cup putter out of the garage this week and I have been putting well for the first time in a long while. That has been my biggest problem, but the old Ping B-60 had the same affect on me now as it did in The Ryder Cup.”
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