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Bob Charles to retire next year

New Zealand's most distinguished player, Sir Bob Charles, confirmed this morning that next year will be his final as a professional.

Charles, 65, said he would quit the senior PGA tour at the end of next year and move into semi-retirement.

Now based in Florida, Charles was Knighted for services to the sport in January and remains the only New Zealander to win a major – the 1963 Open.

Charles said after more than 40 years as a professional, he wanted to spend more time with his grandchildren and elderly parents.

"My game is not dramatically falling away. It is slipping but not to the extent I want to leave right away," he said.

Charles will play a full season next year including the New Zealand Open.

He finished 60th this year earning $US282,370 ($526,318) in prize money.

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