Fresh off an exhilarating win at the 2023 MCB Tour Championship, Peter Baker stands tall as the epitome of skill and resilience on the golf course. His stellar performance not only secured the championship but also marked a triumphant conclusion to the MCB Race to Mauritius. As we delve into his journey and strategies, Peter graciously shares insights into his remarkable victory and the path that led him to this crowning achievement.
Peter, how do you feel after that epic MCB Tour Championship, a win that also clinched the MCB Race to Mauritius?
"I spent a long, long time on the European Tour and I never thought I'd get to number one. So it's nice to do that. I've had a lot of happy happy days on the European Tour and I’m also grateful to all my friends on the Legends Tour for their support.
I lost my mother earlier in the year, in May, and that was a tough time but I think she's been up there supporting me; she's got me that bit of luck at times and I’m sure she is watching wherever she is."
How much has your good friend and former Masters champion Ian Woosnam helped you this year?
"He’s really supported me and we talk a lot. He’s blunt, as you can imagine, which is great, that’s how we are. He’s really encouraged me throughout the year. He gave me the necessary kick every now and then. My golf coach Michael Welch at home in Shropshire has been absolutely fantastic. You need that support. It’s a tough game, so I’m very appreciate of all the help I’ve had."
Adilson da Silva pushed you all the way – does that make it even sweeter?
"It’s absolutely fantastic. It’s something I didn’t think of at the start of the year, but three wins put me in a brilliant position. I had two weeks off before before Vietnam but I worked really hard even though conditions weren't great at home I put a lot of time and effort in because I knew Adilson would come in strong and obviously, to win in Vietnam when he had to was a brilliant performance. So I knew I would have to go all the way down to the wire. This week I said to my wife, ‘we need to win this because he's going to be right there’. So I was really, really trying to win the tournament at the same time - I thought that was needed."
Tell us about that fairway-wood shot into 18 and what's going through your mind as you stood over it?
"Yeah, it was a difficult shot. I hit a good drive on 18 and I saw Patrik [Sjolund] miss a putt on the green that I thought was probably for birdie. I knew we were tied so I thought it was birdie to win the tournament. We play to win tournaments and I’ve probably never hit a better five-wood than that, it was all over it. I’m really pleased with that shot. And then the same time I was thinking ‘well I don't want to mess it up because I want to win the order of merit’ but I think at the end of the day, we played win tournaments and that was it.
It was almost like matchplay out there with you both in the running for the tournament and MCB Race to Mauritius?
"Yes. It was a really, really strange environment, I have to say. Adilson is a great guy, he's a great player so it's hard on him. Look I'm pleased to win but we almost could have shared it because he's had a brilliant year as well, so it's difficult one. We’re all trying our best and there can only be one winner and fortunately it went my way and topped off everything really this year. I never thought I'd do it so this is a great feeling and something I'll treasure for the rest of my life."
Finally, how would you sum up your week in Mauritius?
"Fantastic. We have all had an amazing time as always, in a beautiful place. Constance Belle Mare Plage have looked after us so well; it’s a superb hotel. The staff and the friendliness of everybody has been absolutely superb.
Thanks to Sebastian Pilot the golf director and the course superintendent Elvis Catherine, who did a fantastic job – I've never seen the course this good. There was a lot of rain before we arrived but you would never be able to tell that. It really is in great condition and the course just gets better and better every year."
Former Ryder Cup player Peter Baker won a thrilling MCB Tour Championship at Constance Belle Mare Plage and also clinched the Legends Tour’s order of merit!
The MCB Tour Championship, the MCB Race to Mauritius and the rookie of the year title are all up for grabs with 18 holes to play