Normally, the guy who finishes 23rd in a tournament doesn’t make the news. But in this case, Bob Charles’ finish at the New Zealand Open simply is amazing.
Sir Robert James Charles (he was knighted in 1999) is 71 and was playing on the 53rd anniversary of the first of his four New Zealand Open victories. He first won the event in 1953 as an eighteen-year-old phenom. The last of his NZ Open Championships was in 1973.
A sports hero in New Zealand, the lefty won 66 tournaments in his career, including the 1963 British Open. He tied for second in the 1968 PGA, and third in the 1964 US Open. He won six PGA Tour events; the remainder were Asian, European and Champions Tour events.
When he made the cut at the New Zealand Open, he became the oldest to do so on the European Tour.
Charles had retired from the New Zealand Open in 2004, but agreed to play this year to honor the event’s 100th anniversary.
I’m glad he did.