Baker-Finch Named Assistant Captain

Interesting press release just crossed the wire — remember, the team is announced on Monday:

International Presidents Cup Team Captain Gary Player has announced that Ian Baker-Finch will return as his assistant for the 2007 Presidents Cup, to be held Sept. 25-30 at The Royal Montreal Golf Club in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Baker-Finch previously served as captains assistant to Player at both the 2003 and 2005 Presidents Cups, and he was Peter Thomsons captains assistant at the 1996 Presidents Cup.

Having been Players right-hand man since the beginning of The Presidents Cups captained by Player and U.S. Team Captain Jack Nicklaus, Baker-Finch was the natural choice for captains assistant of the International Team.

I am delighted that Ian has agreed to be my captains assistant again, said Player from his home in South Africa. He has been a great team man in the past, and his thorough knowledge of the players on the PGA TOUR makes him the ideal man to assist me in leading our team.

We worked really well together in the last two Presidents Cups and he is well liked and respected by all the players. It makes great sense to continue to have him as part of the International set-up.

The winner of the 1991 British Open Championship, Baker-Finch was a respected international player who captured 15 titles worldwide, including victories in Australia, Europe, Japan and the United States. Baker-Finchs first PGA TOUR victory came at the 1989 Southwestern Bell Colonial.

Since retiring from competitive golf in 1997, Baker-Finch has worked as a television golf commentator for ESPN and ABC before joining the CBS Sports golf team in 2007 as analyst for all the networks PGA TOUR events. Baker-Finch and his family reside in North Palm Beach, FL, and he is involved with his course design business and hosts numerous charity and corporate golf days throughout the United States.

I am once again very honored to have been asked by Gary to assist him, and I can assure him of my full support as always, said Baker-Finch, who now owns the distinction of serving as captains assistant more times than anyone in The Presidents Cup history. It looks like we are going to have a very strong team, and it would be great to come away with a win after being so close on the last two occasions.

The International Presidents Cup Team will be named Aug. 12, following the PGA Championship. The top-10 international players (excluding those eligible for the European Ryder Cup Team) from the Official World Golf Ranking after the conclusion of the PGA Championship automatically make the International Team. On Monday, Aug. 13, Player and Nicklaus will round out their 12-person teams by each making two captains selections. Nicklaus and Player will make the announcement via teleconference.

The top-20 in 2007 International Team eligibility are 1. Ernie Els, 2. Adam Scott, 3. Vijay Singh, 4. Geoff Ogilvy, 5. Rory Sabbatini, 6. K.J. Choi, 7. Retief Goosen, 8. Angel Cabrera, 9. Trevor Immelman, 10. Andres Romero, 11. Nick OHern, 12. Stuart Appleby, 13. Aaron Baddeley, 14. Richard Green, 15. Robert Allenby, 16. Richard Sterne, 17. Tim Clark, 18. Rod Pampling, 19. Stephen Ames, 20. Mike Weir.

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

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  • Baker-Fince was in the CDN Open a couple of weeks ago doing TV commentary for CBS. He should know how popular a figure Mike Weir is. Hope he will use his position to influence Gary Player to pick Weir.

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