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GOLF ROUNDUP : Baker-Finch Takes a Drop, and the Crowd Goes Wild

May 28, 1993|From Associated Press

Journeyman Dick Mast took the lead but lost the limelight to Ian Baker-Finch's impromptu strip show Thursday in the Colonial at Ft. Worth.

Mast, 42, making his first start in this event since his rookie season of 1974, shot a six-under-par 64 and led a group of three non-winners at the top of the first-round leaderboard.

Jeff Maggert and Duffy Waldorf each had a 65.

Baker-Finch, however, upstaged all of them at the Colonial Country Club course.

The darkly tanned Australian, a former British Open champion, hit his tee shot into the edge of a pond that fronts the green on the par-three 13th.

Before a cheering gallery of hundreds on the course and millions more watching the cable telecast, Baker-Finch sat down and removed his shoes and socks.

And then his trousers came off.

The cheering increased to bedlam.

When he stepped ankle-deep into the pond to play his second shot, he was barefoot and bare-legged, wearing only blue-green boxer shorts below the waist.

"I'm just glad I wore my good ones," Baker-Finch said later.

Casual as could be, the half-clad Aussie clambered out of the water after his shot, dried himself with a towel, put on pants, socks and shoes and went about his business.

No penalty.

The scene seriously upstaged the more staid, traditional activities on the golf course.

"He just turned golf into a PG-13 sport," quipped PGA champion Nick Price, who was playing in the same group with Baker-Finch.

On the next hole, three female fans following Price and Baker-Finch began chanting "Hit it in the water; hit it in the water."

Baker-Finch finished with a 74.

*

Heavy winds kept scores high in the opening round of an LPGA tournament at Corning, N.Y., with Cathy Johnston-Forbes, Kathy Robbins and Allison Finney sharing the lead at two-under-par 70.

*

Charlotta Sorenstam shot a three-under-par 70, helping Texas set a course record and move within two strokes of Georgia halfway through the NCAA women's golf championships at Atlanta.

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