Tiverton ace Eliot Baker claims third series success in grand style
BUCS: Friday, April 1st
FORMAT: 54-hole strokeplay (shortened from 72 because of the weather)
Devon star Eliot Baker maintained his stranglehold on the British Universities and Colleges Sport Golf series with a dominant display at Sherwood Forest this week.
The Tiverton GC teenager won the weather-shortened English and Welsh Championship by eight shots on Wednesday. Fog on the final day meant only one round could be played but the result would surely have been a formality. Baker reeled of nine birdies in putting together a stunning 64.
The victory was his third in series – the 19-year-old has also won at the Belfry and Saunton – and he will head to next month’s Series Grand Final at Prince’s (April 10-12) as the man to beat having topped the Order of Merit The leading 50 male students have made it through.
His closing seven-under-par effort was his lowest score outside of club competitions and highlights his rapid improvement. In less than two years he has gone from a handicap of one to plus four.
“I didn’t really have a lot of expectations when I started playing the BUCS events last year,” admitted the Gloucester-based Hartpury University student.
‘I didn’t play too many big events last year but I came out playing hotter than expected.”
Baker will head to Kent month in sparkling form. He started the third and final round at Sherwood Forest just one clear of Samuel Potter (Kedleston Park GC) but roared clear of the field with six birdies in the opening eight holes.
There were back-to-back bogeys at 11 and 12 – the middle part of the Nottinghamshire’s course is notoriously tough – but he finished with three birdies in the final six holes to finish well clear of UcLan’s Jack Williams (Wrexham GC) and Liverpool-based student Potter.