|England’s Peter Baker holds a one shot lead at the Irish Legends after the opening day at Seaport Golf Links.
The former Ryder Cup player overcame windy conditions for an excellent round of -6, picking up six birdies in nine holes through the middle of the round. He started his surge with three in a row from the 6th and added more red numbers on 10, 12 and 14. He parred home, including a tidy recovery after finding the thick rough long of the par-5 18th in two shots.
“I’m very pleased because it’s a tough course,” said Baker, who has won three times on the DP World Tour and took home the French Senior Open on the Legends Tour in 2019. “I holed out really well from 4-10 feet. I haven’t been doing that, and that was the big difference today.
“It’s always a bonus to go bogey-free, and that comes back to finishing the putts off. That kept me going in the round when I made a few mistakes and got away with a few things by chipping or putting up nicely and finishing it off. That was a really big plus.”
Baker sits 10th in the Legends Tour Order of Merit after starting the season with a tied-14th at the Riegler and Partner Legends in Austria, a missed cut at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in America and finishing tied-3rd in the Jersey Legends two weeks ago.
Gary Wolstenholme and Michael Campbell are a shot back on -5 after they both also started the tournament with bogey-free rounds. Wolstenholme birdied the first two holes and also picked up shots on the 8th, 12th and 16th. It’s a welcome positive start for the three-time Legends Tour winner who’s looking for his first top-40 of the season.
2005 US Open champion Campbell’s round was highlighted by a two at the stunning signature par-3 17th, and he’s very happy with his best opening round of the season: “It was pretty tough out there today, especially with the wind gusting up to 20-25mph. My goal was to avoid the fairway bunkers, which I did. I played quite nicely from tee to green and my putting was excellent which was nice.”
Campbell won twice in Ireland on the DP World Tour and he’s enjoying his time here again: “I don’t know what it is, there’s some sort of connection going on between me and Ireland. The crowds are fantastic, and it’s a good craic.”
The top three were all amongst the earlier starters and rain and stronger winds in the afternoon made scoring more difficult. The best of the later starters was Ricardo Gonzalez, who finished birdie-birdie for a round of 69 and 4th place.
Michael Long, Simon P Brown and Greig Hutcheon are in a share for 5th on -2. Order of Merit number one Adilson da Silva is -1, and Australian Peter Fowler had a hole-in-one at the 15th on his way to a 71.