Former Ryder Cup star Peter Baker said he would not rush into making any decisions about his professional future after failing to come through the final qualifying school for next year’s European Tour.
The 41-year-old from Wolverhampton failed to make the cut for the final two rounds of the Qualifying School at PGA Golf de Catalunya in Girona, Spain over the weekend and said he would take the winter to decide what his next move would be.
Baker, who starred for the European Team in the Ryder Cup in 1993 and was vice-captain to Ian Woosnam in 2006, said he would not let the disappointment of his failure in Spain to cloud his judgment.
“I am not sure what I am going to do now so I will take some time to reflect on things,” Baker said.
“I think I will get about 15 invites to play next season on the European Tour but whether I go back on to the Challenge Tour I just don’t know.
“Everything is very raw at the moment so I will let everything sink in. I am in no rush because I won’t play again until March.
“I will see if I still feel that I have something left in the tank and If I do I will have another go.”
Baker was one of the European Tour’s most consistent performers after turning professional 20 years ago and he announced his arrival at the 1988 Benson and Hedges International Open by eagling the first hole of a sudden-death play-off against the 1987 Open champion Nick Faldo.
He collected his other two European Tour career victories, the Dunhill British Masters and the Scandinavian Masters, in 1993.
He lost his European Tour card in 2004 but decided he still had something to offer and in 2007 he regained his card after finishing 12th in the Challenge Tour standings.
However, he finished outside the top 115 in the Order of Merit, forcing him to go through the marathon of the qualifying school, in which more than 150 hopefuls fought it out over six gruelling rounds.
The top 75 made the cut on Sunday evening for the final two rounds and Baker was left stranded on joint 91st after rounds of 72, 74, 73 and a final-day 69. However, he said he could have done a lot better.
“I was disappointed with the way it all finished because I played well but it just crumbled away from me at the end,” he said.
“I had a lot of bad luck at important times and I don’t think it would have been an injustice had I been back in the clubhouse on eight under par.
“I had chances to make birdie on nearly every hole but I three-putted 11 times in four rounds and that cost me in the end.
“The greens were some of the worst I have ever played on. They were appalling but it was the same for everyone.
“I had felt like I was putting well but if you are three-putting it is difficult to get things going.”
Baker’s disappointment was shared by Sutton Coldfield’s Sam Walker, who also missed the cut after finishing with a 77 following three consecutive rounds of 71.
He was left on four over for the competition, two shots behind Baker.