New Zealand Open last, says Bob Charles
Sir Bob Charles, the first left-hander to win one of golf's major championships, will make his last appearance in a New Zealand Open in January.
Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
Wellington:Sir Bob Charles, the first left-hander to win one of golf's major championships, will make his last appearance in a New Zealand Open in January, 50 years after winning the tournament for the first time. The 1963 British Open winner, 67, said the 2004 Holden New Zealand Open, which will be held from January 15 to 18 at Auckland's Grange Club, would be a fitting swansong. Canada's Mike Weir became only the second left-hander to win a major in this year's US Masters. Charles won the first of his four New Zealand Open titles at Heretaunga, near Wellington, in 1954 and claimed the first Open held at the Grange in 1970. "It's my last competition with the young boys as we seniors describe them," Charles said. "I will give up my spot to one of the young boys who is far more deserving than a broken-down old hack like me." Charles said he was not retiring from golf, although he would be scaling down his future tournament schedule. He would continue to play socially and in seniors tournaments in the United States and Europe. "I played 19 tournaments this year which is the fewest tournaments I've played in my 43-year professional career," he said. "When it gets to the point my body gives in - and fortunately it's holding together - or I feel like I'm embarrassing my family or my friends then I'll toss it in." (AP)