Sir Bob Charles and Gary Player (Getty Images)
Kiwi Legend Sir Bob Charles, aged 76, shot an incredible first round 66, -4 under par, to be tied third at the PGA Seniors Open tournament at the Golf Club Bad Ragaz, Switzerland. He is currently just two shots off the lead, held by David J Russell of England.
Kiwi Sir Bob was the first left-hander to win a Major, at the 1963 Open Championship, at Royal Lytham and St Annes, the venue for this years Open. Sir Bob was very pleased with his round, and so he should be;
“That was one of those dream rounds. I have just bettered my age by ten shots, I have never got anywhere near that figure before. It’s quite remarkable really. I hope it’s a record. I have had some great days in my career and this is one of them. I felt young again. My putting certainly reminded me of the days of my youth. I hit a lot of good shots and never missed any short putts and that was the secret really. I made two really big 15-foot par putts to and they were crucial. I take a lot of satisfaction from today. These days that is the goal and today was, as I said, like a dream and one I will never forget.”
He spoke his decision to come out of retirement;
“I came back here because I love Bad Ragaz, I love Switzerland, and I love coming back here to this golf club because the welcome we receive is overwhelming. I retired because I wasn’t competitive anymore and I always said that I didn’t want to hang around if I couldn’t compete. Unfortunately when you get to my age the golf shots get shorter and the golf courses get longer and that combination is just not compatible. But that’s what made today so special. It felt great out there. Can I win the tournament? I would doubt it but you just never know if I can keep putting as well as I did today.”
Good luck for tomorrow, Sir Bob, one of New Zealand’s finest.