Sir Bob Charles says he’s not sure if he’ll return to watch the Open at Royal Lytham & St Annes. The scene of his famous win in 1963. But he says he’ll be there in 2013, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first win by a “leftie” in a Major.
Here’s a journey down memory lane, which includes a few shots of his winning performance and a brief interview of Sir Bob.
For those of us with long memories, the part of the video showing Phil Rodger’s behaviour comes readily to mind. And although Sir Bob has very recently said it was his fitness that won him the play off. His ability to not be distracted by Phil’s antics says something about his mental toughness.
We’re all well aware of Sir Bob’s skills in the short game and in particular his putting and Brent Kelly writes, “Bob Charles deserved a lot of left-handed compliments - and plenty of right-handed ones, too - after winning the 1963 British Open. The victory made him the first left-handed golfer in the sport's history to win a major. Charles, from New Zealand, defeated American Phil Rodgers in a 36-hole playoff. They finished 72 holes tied at 277, Rodgers closing with a 69 and Charles with a 71.
The Kiwi shot 69-71--140 to Rodgers' 72-76--148. The R&A's tournament history notes that Charles used 56 putts compared to Rodgers' 65 putts in the playoff
Reflecting on Phil Rodgers and his post Royal Lytham performance Brent says, “He (Rodgers) won five times on the PGA Tour, but that was it. He later became a very highly respected golf instructor specializing in short-game skills. As an instructor, one of the first golfers Rodgers worked with was Nicklaus.”
Only the golfing gods know what even greater heights the Golden Bear could’ve reached if he’d gone to Sir Bob for short game advice.
Here’s the link to Brent Kelly
Quote of the Day
When I got to the 36-hole playoff on the Saturday, I thought I had a good chance of winning," the 76-year-old says from England. "Dare I say it, but Phil Rodgers was a slightly overweight fella and I thought my fitness would have worked in my favour.” – Sir Bob Charles
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