Announced this morning in Sydney by the Australian Olympic Committee, Thorburn said the PGA had advocated for Baker-Finch's appointment to the role citing his unwavering support of the game in Australia and his affinity with our country's top Professionals.
Thorburn said of Baker-Finch's appointment:
"The PGA is incredibly pleased to receive the news regarding the appointment of PGA Life Member Ian Baker-Finch to the role of Captain for the 2016 Olympic Golf Team.
While his record on the golf course is impressive enough, Ian continues to be active and well respected within the Australian and international golf communities and will be a valuable asset to work alongside our Professionals in the lead up to and during the Rio Olympics.
Golf's return to the Olympics is an opportunity for our game; an opportunity that we as an industry need to embrace.
With it will come new prospects for growth at both a grass roots participation and elite level.
I'm certain Ian will represent our game, the PGA and of course our country with the class for which he is renowned.
On behalf of the PGA I congratulate Ian on this new role and look forward to working with him and our Professionals towards Rio."
h3. About Ian Baker-Finch
A Member of the PGA since 1979, Ian won his first Tour event in 1983 at the New Zealand Open, and in doing so qualified for the 1984 British Open at St. Andrews where he surprised the world by leading after the first three rounds.
Multiple victories in Australia, Europe and Japan followed before he joined the PGA TOUR as a rookie in 1989. Ian won the Colonial Invitational that year and The Open Championship at Royal Birkdale in 1991.
He also represented Australia many times including at the World Cup in 1985, World Tours Championships 1985-1991, and the Dunhill Cup in 1989 and 1992.
In 1996 Ian served as fellow Australian Peter Thomson's Co-Captain for the International President's Cup Team. Gary Player appointed Ian as assistant captain for his International team in South Africa in 2003, in Virginia in 2005 and again in Montreal in 2007. Ian regards those four weeks as some of the most memorable times in his career, representing his country alongside so many of the world's greats.
After winning 17 titles on all four major tours, Ian retired from full-time competition in 1997. Since then he has worked for Australian television and the US networks, ABC and ESPN as an expert golf analyst. In 2007 he joined the popular CBS golf team on their PGA TOUR coverage, which includes The Masters and US PGA Championship. After more than 15 years in sports television Ian is highly regarded as one of the most popular and successful commentators and is known for his easy going manner and his love for the game of golf.
A Life Member of the PGA of Australia, Ian is also a passionate advocate for the continued growth of the game within Australia and abroad and is a former Director of the PGA Tour of Australasia. He was also recognised by the Australian Government in 2000 as a recipient of the Australian Sports Medal.