Bob Charles (golfer)
Sir Robert James Charles ONZ KNZM CBE (born 14 March 1936) is a New Zealand professional golfer. His achievements over five decades rank him among the most successful left-handed golfers of all time, being the first lefty to win a golf major, winning more than 70 titles, and beating his age twice during a tournament as a 71-year-old.
|Sir Bob Charles|
Charles in 2011
|Full name||Robert James Charles|
|Born||14 March 1936|
Carterton, New Zealand
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||79 kg (174 lb; 12.4 st)|
|Residence||Florida, United States;|
Canterbury, New Zealand
|Current tour(s)||Champions Tour|
European Seniors Tour
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour|
PGA Tour of Australasia
|Number of wins by tour|
|PGA Tour of Australasia||8|
|PGA Tour Champions||23|
|European Senior Tour||1|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||T15: 1963|
|PGA Championship||T2: 1968|
|U.S. Open||3rd/T3: 1964, 1970|
|The Open Championship||Won: 1963|
|Achievements and awards|
|World Golf Hall of Fame||2008 (member page)|
|New Zealand Order of Merit||1999|
|Order of New Zealand||2010|
Although Charles plays golf left-handed, he is naturally right-handed.
Born in Carterton, a small town in the Wairarapa district in New Zealand's North Island, Charles lived in Masterton where he worked as a bank teller. He won the New Zealand Open at Heretaunga on 8 November 1954, as an 18-year-old amateur.
Charles decided to hone his skills as an amateur first, and remained in his bank employment for a further six years. He represented New Zealand several times in international amateur tournaments during this period.
Charles turned professional in 1960 and the next year won the New Zealand PGA Championship and soon after ventured overseas to the European and North American circuits.
In 1963, Charles won his first PGA Tour event in the United States, the Houston Classic, the first PGA Tour event won by a left-handed golfer. Later that year he won The Open Championship at Royal Lytham and St. Annes. After four rounds (68-72-66-71) his 277 was level with American Phil Rodgers. Charles won the 36-hole playoff by eight shots.
Charles has won about 80 tournaments around the world. As well as his PGA Tour victories, his win in the 1969 World Matchplay Championship was considered one of his best. He won the Senior British Open 30 years after winning his British Open title. He remains, along with Michael Campbell, one of only two New Zealanders to win a men's major golf championship.
In 2007 Charles became the oldest golfer to make a cut on the European Tour at the Michael Hill New Zealand Open. Charles shot a 68 in the second round, beating his age by three strokes. He would go on to finish in a tie for 23rd place.
Charles's move to the Senior PGA Tour (now called Champions Tour) was very lucrative and successful with 23 titles; and in three years 1988, 1989 and 1993, he recorded lowest scoring average. He finished second on the European Seniors Tour's 2007 Wentworth Senior Masters at the age of 71. He was the first left-hander to win a major, but also the first lefty to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, in the veterans category. He was inducted in 2008. He would remain the only lefty inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame until Phil Mickelson was elected in 2011.
At the Senior British Open Championship in 2010, Charles announced in an ESPN interview that he would retire from golf, stating that he was "74 years old, traveling this world for 50 years, and it's time to slow down and spend more time on my farm in New Zealand with my family."
Charles is a sporting hero in New Zealand, not only for his achievements but also for his demeanour and philanthropy regarding junior golfers. He was also a role model worldwide for left-handed golfers. Until Canadian Mike Weir won The Masters in 2003, Charles was the only golfer with a left-handed swing to have won a major.
In the 1971 Queen's Birthday Honours, Charles was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire for services to sport. In the 1992 New Year Honours, he was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to golf. In the 1999 New Year Honours, Charles was appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to golf. In the 2011 New Year Honours 2011, Charles was appointed as a Member of the Order of New Zealand, New Zealand's highest civilian honour, for services to New Zealand.
Charles married his wife Verity in 1962 and they have two children, Beverly and David. David is a golf director in the United States. He is a successful golf course designer having had major input into the Formosa Country Club east of Auckland, Millbrook at the resort town of Queenstown, and 'The Dunes' course at Matarangi on the Coromandel Peninsula. He was also consultant to the Clearwater course, near Christchurch, designed by golf architect John Darby. He has four grandchildren, Beverly has two children Jacqui and James, who live in the UK. David also has two, Robert and Caroline who live in the US.
Professional wins (76)Edit
PGA Tour wins (6)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||21 Apr 1963||Houston Classic||−12 (67-66-66-69=268)||1 stroke||Fred Hawkins|
|2||13 Jul 1963||The Open Championship||−3 (68-72-66-71=277)||Playoff||Phil Rodgers|
|3||21 Feb 1965||Tucson Open Invitational||−17 (65-69-67-70=271)||4 strokes||Al Geiberger|
|4||1 Oct 1967||Atlanta Classic||−6 (72-71-69-70=282)||2 strokes||Tommy Bolt, Dick Crawford, Gardner Dickinson|
|5||23 Jun 1968||Canadian Open||−6 (70-68-70-66=274)||2 strokes||Jack Nicklaus|
|6||7 Apr 1974||Greater Greensboro Open||−14 (65-70-67-68=270)||1 stroke||Raymond Floyd, Lee Trevino|
PGA Tour playoff record (1–2)
|1||1963||The Open Championship||Phil Rodgers||Won 36-hole playoff (Charles:69-71=140, Rodgers:72-76=148)|
|2||1965||Lucky International Open||George Archer||Lost to birdie on second extra hole|
|3||1970||Greater New Orleans Open||Miller Barber, Howie Johnson||Barber won with birdie on second extra hole|
Major championship is shown in bold.
PGA Tour satellite win (1)Edit
- 1983 Tallahassee Open
European Tour wins (4)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||30 Sep 1972||John Player Classic||+1 (69-69-71-76=285)||1 stroke||Gay Brewer, Peter Oosterhuis|
|2||7 Oct 1972||Dunlop Masters||−11 (70-68-71-68=277)||2 strokes||Tony Jacklin|
|3||22 Jul 1973||Scandinavian Enterprise Open||−10 (69-69-70-70=278)||2 strokes|| Vin Baker, Tony Jacklin,|
|4||27 Jul 1974||Swiss Open||−5 (70-70-67-68=275)||1 stroke||Tony Jacklin|
European Tour playoff record (0–1)
|1||1978||Greater Manchester Open|| Brian Barnes, Denis Durnian,
|Barnes won with birdie on first extra hole|
European circuit winsEdit
- 1961 Bowmaker Tournament
- 1962 Swiss Open, Daks Tournament (tie with Dai Rees)
- 1969 Piccadilly World Match Play Championship
Australasian wins (8)Edit
- 1954 New Zealand Open (as an amateur)
- 1961 New Zealand PGA Championship
- 1966 New Zealand Open
- 1970 New Zealand Open
- 1973 New Zealand Open
- 1978 Air New Zealand Shell Open
- 1979 New Zealand PGA Championship
- 1980 New Zealand PGA Championship
South African Tour win (1)Edit
- 1973 South African Open
- 1961 Caltex Tournament
- 1962 Caltex Tournament
- 1963 Watties Open
- 1966 Watties Open
- 1967 New Zealand Wills Masters (tie with Martin Roesink)
- 1967 Caltex Tournament (tie with Peter Thomson), Watties Open
- 1968 Watties Open, Caltex Tournament
- 1969 Spalding Masters
- 1971 Otago Charity Classic, Caltex Tournament
- 1972 Spalding Masters
- 1973 City of Auckland Classic
Senior PGA Tour wins (23)Edit
Senior PGA Tour playoff record (2–7)
|1||1987||PaineWebber World Seniors Invitational||Gary Player||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|2||1988||Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am|| Don Massengale, Orville Moody,
|Moody won with birdie on first extra hole|
|3||1988||U.S. Senior Open||Gary Player||Lost 18-hole playoff (Player:68, Charles:70)|
|4||1989||GTE Suncoast Classic|| Jim Ferree, Dave Hill,
|Won with birdie on third extra hole|
Ferree and Hill eliminated on first hole with birdie
|5||1989||General Tire Las Vegas Classic||Charles Coody, Chi-Chi Rodríguez||Coody won with birdie on second extra hole|
|6||1995||Hyatt Regency Maui Kaanapali Classic||Dave Stockton||Won with birdie on third extra hole|
|7||1996||Las Vegas Senior Classic||Jim Colbert, Dave Stockton||Colbert won with par on fourth extra hole|
Charles eliminated with par on first hole
|8||1998||Home Depot Invitational||Jim Dent||Lost to par on third extra hole|
|9||1998||Kroger Senior Classic|| Hugh Baiocchi, Frank Conner,
Larry Nelson, Bruce Summerhays
|Baiocchi won with birdie on second extra hole|
European Seniors Tour wins (1)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||25 Jul 1993||Senior British Open||+3 (73-73-71-74=291)||1 stroke||Tommy Horton, Gary Player|
Other senior wins (14)Edit
- 1986 Mazda Champions (with Amy Alcott)
- 1987 Mauna Lani Invitational
- 1988 Fuji Electric Grandslam, 1st National Bank Classic
- 1989 Fuji Electric Grandslam, Senior British Open
- 1990 Fuji Electric Grandslam, Kintetsu Home Senior, Daikyo Senior Invitational
- 1991 Kintetsu Home Senior
- 1998 Office Depot Father/Son Challenge (with son David)
- 2004 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf – Raphael Division (with Stewart Ginn)
- 2009 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf – Demaret Division (with Gary Player)
- 2010 Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf – Demaret Division (with Gary Player)
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1963||The Open Championship||1 shot lead||−7 (68-72-66-71=277)||Playoff1||Phil Rodgers|
1Defeated Phil Rodgers in a 36-hole playoff (Charles 69-71=140, Rodgers 72-76=148).
|The Open Championship||CUT|
|The Amateur Championship||QF|
|The Open Championship||CUT||5||1||T17||CUT||T37||CUT||T2||2|
|The Open Championship||T13||T18||T15||T7||CUT||T12||CUT||T43||T48||T10|
|The Open Championship||T60||T35||CUT||T47||WD||T19||T20|
|The Open Championship||CUT||CUT||CUT||71||CUT|
|The Open Championship||CUT||CUT|
CUT = missed the halfway cut (3rd round cut in 1976 Open Championship)
WD = withdrew
QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
"T" indicates a tie for a place.
Source for The Masters: www.masters.com
Source for U.S. Open: USGA Championship Database
Source for The British Open: www.opengolf.com
Source for PGA Championship: PGA Championship Media Guide
Source for 1958 Amateur Championship: The Glasgow Herald, 6 June 1958, pg. 4.
|The Open Championship||1||2||0||4||6||13||34||19|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 11 (1962 Masters – 1965 Masters)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 3 (1968 U.S. Open – 1968 PGA)
- Eisenhower Trophy (representing New Zealand): 1958, 1960
- Commonwealth Tournament (representing New Zealand): 1959
- "Sir Bob Charles". World Golf Hall of Fame. Retrieved 21 July 2019.
- "Houston Classic 1963 Champion – Bob Charles". Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 12 December 2007.
- "1963 Bob Charles". The Open. Archived from the original on 16 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013.
- Peters, Austin (1 December 2007). "Bob Charles a cut above at age of 71". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Charles to be inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame Archived 12 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
- "No. 45386". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 June 1971. p. 5998.
- "No. 52768". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 1991. p. 29.
- "New Year Honours 1999" (22 January 1999) 5 New Zealand Gazette 139.
- "New Year honours list 2011". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2018.
- Pearce, Bob (31 December 2010). "Golfing legend greets honour with a plea". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 31 December 2010.