Hey, Gary, this is a wrong number

Ian Baker-Finch during the 2010 Australian Senior Masters.

Ian Baker-Finch during the 2010 Australian Senior Masters.

Ian Baker-Finch, one of golf’s nice guys, makes his Champions Tour debut this week in California at the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach. The winner of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale (1991) basically walked away from competitive golf in his mid-30s when his game left him, but he’s enthused to have a little fun on the Champions Tour while taking a short break from his “day” job as a television analyst with CBS.

Wednesday, Baker-Finch was in the midst of a pre-tournament conference with members of the press when his phone rang. Uh-oh. On the other line: CBS crony/funnyman Gary McCord.

Before the call, Baker-Finch was in the middle of explaining that he’d been playing great golf while at home in South Florida up until the past couple of weeks, when suddenly he had “at least five different swing thoughts” every day.

“I went from shooting an average of 68 every time I played to an average of 74 every time I played just in three or four weeks, to a point where about two days ago I said, ‘Right, I’m just going to go back to doing what I do, which is where I was four weeks ago.’ But I just wasted the last four weeks working on everyone else’s swing thoughts instead of my own.”

Ring-ring ...

“In fact,” he continued as his phone went off, “Gary McCord is calling me right now. He is one of the reasons why I have 36,000 swing thoughts. Leave me alone.”

After a quick chat with McCord, he told him he would call him back.

“That’s been my life the last five years,” said Baker-Finch, “hence the inability to think clearly.”

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