FOUR WITH POTENTIAL TO BE A MASTER

Click to follow
The Independent Online
Jay Haas

Born: St Louis

Age: 42

Turned professional in 1976. A man called Haas seems destined to win the Masters. Bob Goalby, a former Masters champion, is his uncle and the man responsible for introducing Haas to golf. Goalby had a club that was broken in half. He put a grip on it and gave it to Haas who finished third in the first tournament he ever entered - the national Pee Wee championship. Played for the US in the 1975 Walker Cup and the Ryder Cup in 1983 and again last year. Haas has nine victories on the US Tour and has played in the Masters on 15 occasions. Finished joint third last year, has appeared in the top five on three occasions and once shot 64 here.

Ian Baker-Finch

Born: Nambour, Aus

Age: 35

Turned professional 1979. Baker-Finch won the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1991 since when the only cut he has made has been while shaving. Actually, that's not true. In the Canon Challenge in Australia this year Baker-Finch got beyond the second round for the first time in 17 months, surprising everybody including himself. Conditioned to checking out of hotels on a Friday night, Baker-Finch did not have enough shirts to see him through to Sunday. Although he had no chance of winning the tournament, the crowd flocked to him during the final round and gave him a standing ovation. Resumed normal service on the US Tour this season: played three, missed cuts three.

Gordon Sherry

Born: Kilmarnock

Age: 22

Is playing in his first Masters and will turn professional as the ink dries on his first contract next Monday. Sherry, at 6ft 8in and a slimmed- down 17st, is probably the largest player ever to have appeared in the Masters. A student of biochemistry at Stirling University, he had the time of his life last year, winning the Amateur Championship at Hoylake, finishing fourth in the Scottish Open at Carnoustie and joint 40th in the Open at St Andrews. Is getting wiser by the minute. At a party here on Monday evening he was approached by a woman who asked him:"Is everything about you in proportion to your size?" "No," Sherry replied, "I should be 8ft 6in."

David Gilford

Born: Crewe

Age: 30

Turned professional 1986. On the basis of finishing in the top 10 in the European Order of Merit, Gilford was invited to his first Masters last year when he came joint 24th, thus automatically gaining readmission for Augusta. Had an outstanding amateur career, winning the English Amateur Championship in 1984 and the British Youths' Championship in 1986. A member of

the victorious European Ryder Cup team at Oak Hill, Rochester, last September. One of the

quietest players in golf, Gilford's hobby is tending a herd of Hereford cattle. Now has 40 animals but says that, because of the worries over BSE, they are virtually worthless.

Comments