1991 British Open: Ian Baker-Finch's Major

Ian Baker-Finch salutes the fans after winning the 1991 British Open
Ian Baker-Finch salutes the fans after winning the 1991 British Open. David Cannon/Getty Images

Amateur Phil Mickelson played in his first British Open here, and made the cut. Johnny Miller, the 1976 Open champion, played in his last British Open here, and missed the cut.

The winner was Ian Baker-Finch, whose weekend surge produced rounds of 64 and 66.

Baker-Finch had one win on the PGA Tour and one win on the European Tour at the time of the 1991 British Open. He had three Top 10s in majors to this point, including a tie for seventh earlier in the year at the 1991 Masters.

He opened with back-to-back rounds of 71, but that third-round 64 tied Baker-Finch with his fellow Australian, Mike Harwood, atop the leaderboard. Also tied for the lead was Mark O'Meara. The biggest name on the leaderboard entering the final round was that of Seve Ballesteros, two behind, but Ballesteros carded a final-round 71 while most of the other contenders were in the 60s.

That included Harwood (67) and O'Meara (69), but Baker-Finch opened his final round by birdying five of the first seven holes. He finished with a round of 66 to beat Harwood by one and O'Meara by three.

For Harwood, a 5-time winner on the European Tour, this proved to be his only Top 10 finish in a major. O'Meara went on to win two majors, including the 1998 British Open. The 1991 British Open was Ballesteros' final Top 10 finish in a major (he tied for ninth).

Baker-Finch's career appeared to be in ascendancy, but he never won again on the USPGA or European tours.

Within several years, a combination of tinkering with his swing and confidence problems caused his game to degenerate. He essentially retired from tournament golf following an opening round 92 at the 1997 British Open. (Related: 6 Great Golfers Who Suddenly Lost Their Games)

1991 British Open Golf Tournament Scores

Results from the 1991 British Open golf tournament played on the par-71 Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, England (a-amateur):

Ian Baker-Finch71-71-64-66--272$151,200
Mike Harwood68-70-69-67--274$117,600
Mark O'Meara71-68-67-69--275$92,400
Fred Couples72-69-70-64--275$92,400
Jodie Mudd72-70-72-63--277$57,400
Eamonn Darcy73-68-66-70--277$57,400
Bob Tway75-66-70-66--277$57,400
Craig Parry71-70-69-68--278$46,200
Bernhard Langer71-71-70-67--279$38,359
Seve Ballesteros66-73-69-71--279$38,359
Greg Norman74-68-71-66--279$38,359
Vijay Singh71-69-69-71--280$28,728
Rodger Davis70-71-73-66--280$28,728
Magnus Sunesson72-73-68-67--280$28,728
Roger Chapman74-66-71-69--280$28,728
David Williams74-71-68-67--280$28,728
Barry Lane68-72-71-70--281$16,893
Ian Woosnam70-72-69-70--281$16,893
Lee Trevino71-72-71-67--281$16,893
Paul Broadhurst71-73-68-69--281$16,893
Andrew Sherborne73-70-68-70--281$16,893
Mark Mouland68-74-68-71--281$16,893
Peter Senior74-67-71-69--281$16,893
Nick Faldo68-75-70-68--281$16,893
Chip Beck67-78-70-66--281$16,893
Colin Montgomerie71-69-71-71--282$11,340
Tom Watson69-72-72-69--282$11,340
Mark James72-68-70-72--282$11,340
Mike Reid68-71-70-73--282$11,340
Wayne Grady69-70-73-70--282$11,340
Eduardo Romero70-73-68-71--282$11,340
Gordon Brand Jr.71-72-69-71--283$9,463
Christy O'Connor Jr.72-71-71-69--283$9,463
Payne Stewart72-72-71-68--283$9,463
Gary Hallberg68-70-73-72--283$9,463
Mike Miller73-74-67-69--283$9,463
Steven Richardson74-70-72-67--283$9,463
Peter O'Malley72-71-70-71--284$8,366
a-Jim Payne72-72-70-70--284 
Curtis Strange70-73-69-72--284$8,366
Anders Forsbrand71-72-73-68--284$8,366
Martin Poxon71-72-67-74--284$8,366
Nolan Henke77-71-66-70--284$8,366
Fulton Allem70-72-71-72--285$7,114
Robert Gamez71-72-72-70--285$7,114
Nick Price69-72-73-71--285$7,114
Graham Marsh69-73-72-71--285$7,114
Jamie Spence70-73-70-72--285$7,114
Davis Love III71-72-69-73--285$7,114
Des Smyth71-73-73-68--285$7,114
Costantino Rocca68-73-70-74--285$7,114
Donnie Hammond70-75-67-73--285$7,114
Jack Nicklaus70-75-69-71--285$7,114
Steve Elkington71-68-76-70--285$7,114
Sam Torrance72-76-70-67--285$7,114
Tom Kite77-71-68-69--285$7,114
Tim Simpson72-72-72-70--286$5,964
Gavin Levenson72-73-73-68--286$5,964
Andrew Magee71-74-69-72--286$5,964
Jose Rivero74-73-68-71--286$5,964
Scott Simpson74-72-70-70--286$5,964
Hale Irwin74-70-73-69--286$5,964
Gary Player75-71-69-71--286$5,964
Gil Morgan72-74-74-67--287$5,301
Steve Pate73-72-74-68--287$5,301
Miguel Angel Martin71-75-71-70--287$5,301
Mike McLean71-75-72-69--287$5,301
Jay Don Blake75-73-72-67--287$5,301
Mark McNulty76-71-70-70--287$5,301
Steve Jones70-77-71-69--287$5,301
Andrew Oldcorn71-67-77-72--287$5,301
Darren Clarke79-67-68-73--287$5,301
Tony Johnstone69-74-71-74--288$5,040
Frank Nobilo74-74-71-69--288$5,040
Martin Gates67-75-73-73--288$5,040
Lanny Wadkins71-75-71-71--288$5,040
Brett Ogle73-75-66-74--288$5,040
Peter Jacobsen75-72-68-73--288$5,040
a-Phil Mickelson77-67-73-71--288 
Danny Mijovic70-72-74-73--289$5,040
Malcolm Mackenzie71-73-74-71--289$5,040
Mark Brooks73-74-70-72--289$5,040
Jose Maria Olazabal74-67-74-74--289$5,040
Miguel Angel Jimenez74-74-72-69--289$5,040
Ben Crenshaw71-75-72-71--289$5,040
Fuzzy Zoeller72-72-75-70--289$5,040
Daniel Silva73-71-75-70--289$5,040
Howard Clark71-69-73-76--289$5,040
John Bland71-76-71-71--289$5,040
Santiago Luna67-77-72-73--289$5,040
David Gilford72-67-73-77--289$5,040
Peter Teravainen71-72-72-75--290$5,040
Brian Marchbank72-73-75-70--290$5,040
Rick Gibson73-75-70-72--290$5,040
Patrick Hall77-71-72-71--291$5,040
Alastair Webster73-74-73-72--292$5,040
John Hoskison74-73-74-71--292$5,040
Peter Hedblom74-74-73-71--292$5,040
Peter Allan70-71-75-76--292$5,040
Carl Suneson69-77-69-77--292$5,040

Return to British Open Winners index for more tournament recaps