Peter Baker sealed the Legends Tour order of merit with victory at the season-ending MCB Tour Championship in Mauritius
Baker seals Legends Tour order of merit with victory in Mauritius
Former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker clinched the Legends Tour order of merit by winning a thrilling MCB Tour Championship at Belle Mare Plage in Mauritius.
Baker led Adilson da Silva by 264 points going into the finale but the Brazilian pushed the 56-year-old from South Staffordshire until the last hole of the season before he secured the MCB Race to Mauritius.
Baker made four birdies in his last six holes to card a third 67 of the week for a 15-under-par total, and seal a one-stroke win over 64-year-old Peter Fowler and Swede Patrik Sjoland, who picked up the Rookie of the Year Award.
Baker and Da Silva were never more than a stroke apart on an enthralling final day that ended with the pair hitting their final drives of the season to within eight feet of each other. Baker was a stroke in front and therefore held the advantage because his South Africa-based rival had to win the tournament and hope his rival did not finish second in order to claim the order of merit. But Baker knew a wayward approach into the water that lines the right side and the back of the par-five 18th green on the Legends course would open the door for Da Silva if he could find an eagle. However, the Englishman nailed a five-wood to within six feet and he punched the air in a mixture of delight and relief as it cleared the water and settled on the green.
Da Silva smiled, knowing his chance had realistically gone, but still drilled his own approach to 20 feet. The 51-year-old raced his eagle putt past the hole and missed the one coming back, so signed for a 69 and a share of fourth place with Jean-Francois Remesy. Baker rolled his short eagle putt up to the hole to make sure of the birdie finish that sealed the tournament success after a captivating final day in the Indian Ocean.
Baker paid tribute to his long-time friend Ian Woosnam “for giving me a kick when it was needed” after he held his nerve to win the tournament and senior order of merit in Mauritius. He said: “He’s really supported me and we talk a lot. He’s blunt, as you can imagine, which is great, that’s how we are. He’s really encouraged me throughout the year. I had a lot of help from Michael Welch at home in Shropshire, as well. You need that support. It’s a tough game, so I’m very appreciate of all the help I’ve had.”
For all the scores from the MCB Tour Championship, click here.