Otago Daily Times

Charles re­turns to Otatara


- ADRIAN SECONI Sports · Golf · British Open · Invercargill · New Zealand · Michael Campbell · US Open · Peter Thomson

FOR­MER Bri­tish Open cham­pion Sir Bob Charles has been lured back to the In­ver­cargill Golf Club, 60 years af­ter he com­peted in the New Zealand Open at the Otatara course.

The 84­year­old left­han­der will play in a four­ball bet­ter­ball tour­na­ment or­gan­ised by the club.

Charles’ ca­reer high­light was win­ning the 1963 Bri­tish Open. Michael Camp­bell, who won the 2005 US Open, is the only other New Zealan­der to win a ma­jor championsh­ip.

Charles won the New Zealand Open four times but at the 1960 tour­na­ment was bested by Aus­tralian Peter Thom­son, who won the tour­na­ment nine times.

In­ver­cargill Golf Club mem­ber Gary Muir said the idea of bringing Charles back to play at the Otatara had been in the plan­ning for about ‘‘four of five months’’.

‘‘It is 60 years since Sir Bob played at the same course in the New Zealand Open, back in 1960,’’ Muir said.

‘‘He was keen to come back and the 60­year an­niver­sary was a very good time for that.

‘‘So we’ve ap­pro­pri­ately named it the Sir Bob Charles an­niver­sary tour­na­ment.’’

Charles’ re­turn also co­in­cides with the launch of the book Sir Bob Charles — The Bi­og­ra­phy.

‘‘It was not orig­i­nally planned that way. It has just been very for­tu­itous that his book is be­ing launched at the same time.’’

The tour­na­ment starts to­mor­row. Sa­muel Dodds is the lucky golfer drawn to part­ner Charles.

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Bob Charles

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