Bob Charles (golfer)
|Sir Bob Charles|
Charles in 2012
|Full name||Sir Robert James Charles|
14 March 1936 |
Carterton, New Zealand
|Height||1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||79 kg (170 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|
|European Seniors Tour||1|
|Best results in Major Championships
|Masters Tournament||T15: 1963|
|U.S. Open||3rd/T3: 1964, 1970|
|The Open Championship||Won: 1963|
|PGA Championship||T2: 1968|
|British Amateur||QF: 1958|
|Achievements and awards|
|World Golf Hall of Fame||2008 (member page)|
|New Zealand Order of Merit||1999|
|Order of New Zealand||2010|
Sir Robert James Charles ONZ KNZM CBE (born 14 March 1936) is a New Zealand professional golfer whose 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.
Early years 
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 and demonstrated great golfing potential. He caused a sensation on 8 November 1954 when, as an 18-year old amateur, he beat a top international field to win the New Zealand Open at Heretaunga. The media was full of praise for this slight young man who equalled the open record of 280, and there were many predictions for an imminent venture in the professional ranks and a lucrative career.
Charles decided to hone his skills as an amateur first, and remained in his bank employment for a further six years, but all the while continued to show exceptional putting prowess which helped immensely later on the professional circuits. He represented New Zealand several times in international amateur tournaments during this period.
Professional career 
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 really came to notice when he won his first PGA Tour event in the United States, the Houston Classic, the first PGA Tour event won by a left-handed golfer. His greatest moment came later that year when 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, and has finished in the top five countless times. As well as his important PGA victories, his win in the 1969 World Matchplay Championship was considered one of his best. He was also thrilled when in 1993 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."
Personal life 
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 New Year Honours 1972 Charles was appointed an Officer of The Order of The British Empire. In the New Year Honours 1992 Charles was promoted to Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to golf. In the New Year Honours 1999 Charles was appointed a Knight Companion of The New Zealand Order of Merit for services to golf. In the New Year Honours 2011 Charles was appointed to The Order of New Zealand 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.
Professional wins (68) 
PGA Tour wins (6) 
|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||–7 (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||–10 (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.
European Tour wins (4) 
Australasian wins (8) 
- 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
Other wins (12) 
- 1961 Bowmaker Tournament, Caltex Open
- 1962 Daks Tournament (tie with Dai Rees), Caltex Open, Swiss Open
- 1963 Watties Open
- 1966 Watties Open, Caltex Open
- 1968 Watties Open
- 1969 Piccadilly World Match Play Championship
- 1973 South African Open
- 1983 Tallahassee Open
Senior PGA Tour wins (23) 
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) 
- 1993 Senior British Open
Other senior wins (14) 
- 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)
Major championships 
Wins (1) 
|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).
Results timeline 
|The Open Championship||CUT||DNP|
|The Amateur Championship||QF||DNP|
|The Open Championship||DNP||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||DNP||T47||WD||T19||DNP||T20||DNP|
|The Open Championship||CUT||DNP||DNP||DNP||CUT||CUT||71||DNP||DNP||CUT|
|The Open Championship||CUT||CUT|
DNP = Did not play
WD = Withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place
R256, R128, R64, R32, R16, QF, SF = Round in which player lost in match play
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10
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 British Amateur: The Glasgow Herald, 6 June 1958, pg. 4.
Team appearances 
- Eisenhower Trophy (representing New Zealand): 1958, 1960
- World Cup (representing New Zealand): 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1971, 1972
- Dunhill Cup (representing New Zealand): 1985, 1986
See also 
- List of golfers with most Champions Tour wins
- List of golfers with most PGA Tour of Australasia wins
- List of golfers with most PGA Tour wins
- List of men's major championships winning golfers
- Pearce, Bob (31 December 2010). "Golfing legend greets honour with a plea". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 31 December 2010.
- "Houston Classic 1963 Champion – Bob Charles". Retrieved 12 December 2007.
- 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
- The London Gazette: . 30 December 1991.
- "New Year Honours 1999" (22 January 1999) 5 New Zealand Gazette 139.
- "New Year Honours 2011" (14 January 2011) 2 New Zealand Gazette 55.
- Bob Charles at the PGA Tour of Australasia official site
- Bob Charles at the PGA Tour official site
- Bob Charles at the European Tour official site