Driver makes return journey

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The Independent Online
It is not only boomerangs that come back in Australia. When Ian Baker- Finch lost his cool at the Coolum Classic yesterday, he tried to lose his driver, too, but couldn't. Like its irritated owner, the club finished up a gum tree but it came back to him, via a spectator.

The Australian threw the driver away in disgust before striding down the 17th fairway to find one of the three balls he had just hit off the tee with the club to various parts of the Hyatt Coolum resort course. The unwanted club was retrieved by an elderly spectator and handed back to Baker-Finch on the 18th tee, but not until after he had hit a tee shot into a lake with another club. That deviation from the fairway left him with a 79, seven over par and 12 shots off the lead.

"It was just very frustrating," Baker-Finch said. "I threw my driver and said: 'Stuff it, I'll find one of the balls'. I wish the guy hadn't found it. I tried to get it in the highest tree."

The 1991 Open champion is in poor form, but he had begun well in his opening round of the Classic, picking up a shot at the third. However, he double-bogeyed the fourth and his game deteriorated. By the 17th, he had had enough and took out his frustration on club.

He may not have enjoyed being presented with it yesterday, but he probably did appreciate the gesture when it was first handed to him as a gift by the current Open champion, John Daly. Unless, of course, he suspected from the start that the driver had absorbed some of its previous owner's past wild ways.

Daly's pile of problems,

Scores, Sporting Digest, page 27

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