“Ian Baker-Finch: Rise and Fall of the Great Dark Shark”

We had to make sure you were pointed in the direction of Matt Creary’s great yarn on the rise and fall of the “Dark Shark”, Ian Baker-Finch.

In a great piece for the Northern Beaches Sports Tribune, Matt Cleary the recounts the steady rise of Ian Baker-Finch into the world’s top-10 golfers, his exquisite short game, the string of victories, both before and after his Open Championship victory at Birkdale.

Cleary sets straight the furphy that IBF’s golf game left him immediately after claiming The Claret Jug in 1991.

And then everything went to shit.

No, it didn’t.

That’s ‘the story’. And it annoys our man Sparrow that the timeline in people’s minds is that he fell off a cliff after Birkdale in ’91.

“The problem I have with all of the stories from ’91–’97, when I quit, is everyone makes it sound like the day after the British Open I couldn’t bust a break,” Baker-Finch said. “That always annoys me because I kept playing and I kept winning. I was top ten in the world.”

He won in Australia, the ’92 Vines Classic, the ’93 Australian PGA. He ran sixth at the ’92 Masters, was second in the ’92 Players Championship. He shot 71–71–72–68 in the ’93 Open Championship at Muirfield. Ran T19. Hardly the work of a chopper.

Here is the great yarn in full.

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