A GOLFER has returned from Australia clutching a crystal trophy after helping his country finish third at the World Deaf Golf Championships.
Ellesmere Port Golf Club member Peter Baker, 41, was a member of the six-strong England team beaten to the title by 21 shots by the USA in Perth. Host nation Australia finished second.
Peter has been deaf from birth and grew up near Royal Birkdale Golf Club in Southport, where his love for golf began.
He is now ranked 32nd in the world in deaf golf and is hoping to earn selection for the next world championships, in Scotland in two years.
Peter’s partner Janet Power said: “He enjoyed himself but he felt he could have played better. It was a new course he had never played before which was difficult and he has come back with a lot of reasons why he felt he didn’t give his best.
“But he has earned a world ranking and came home with a trophy so he should be happy.”
Eight handicapper Peter has been a lifelong golf fanatic, although it wasn’t the sport where he first gained recognition.
In his younger days he represented Great Britain in the Deaflympics, running the 400m, 4x400m and the 400m hurdles at the 1989 games in New Zealand.
He played football for the Chester City deaf team, but last week’s competition in Australia marked the first time Peter had represented his country at golf.
His international debut, at the Joondalup course, went well for the team but Peter was disappointed with his final individual placing of 35th.
“He isn’t sure he’d go out to play in Australia again,” said Janet. “The conditions were very tough and he didn’t like the layout of the course.
“But he stuck at it and he’s done it now and the team did well so he can be proud of that.”
Peter was the third best English golfer in the event. That form could be enough to ensure he is considered for the next world championships in St Andrews in 2010.