Ian enrolled at Caboolture State High School on 30 January, 1973 and that year won the Under 14 QLD Schoolboy Championship. In 1975, as a 14 year old, he won the under 16 state title and the prestigious Gary Player Junior Classic. He left school at the beginning of Grade 11 to pursue his dream of becoming a golf professional and commenced work as a Trainee Pro at Gympie GC, moving on to Caloundra GC before turning professional in July 1979.
Ian won his first major title, the 1983 New Zealand Open, and, in 1984, led The Open Championship for three rounds at St Andrews, giving him the confidence to succeed overseas. Ian continued winning in Europe and Japan, then in 1988, he won the Australian Masters and his World Ranking grew steadily. Wins on the USA PGA Tour and around the world followed, culminating with a Major victory in the 1991 British Open at Royal Birkdale where he became just the fifth Australian to win "The Open". The 1993 Aus PGA title would be his last big win in Australia.
Following a slump in form in the mid 1990s, Ian re-invented himself as a golf broadcaster, mainly through the ABC/ESPN networks, and, now residing in the USA, continues his PGA Tour coverage with CBS and is regarded as one of the best golf analysts in the world.
Finchy, as he is known in the world of broadcasting, has never lost his passion for the game he loves, still playing a select Senior tour schedule in both Australia and the USA, and returning to the Sunshine Coast with his family each year.