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Charles receives Knighthood

Former Open Champion and twice Senior British Open Champion Bob Charles has been made a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the New Year’s Honours List.

Sir Robert, arguably the world’s greatest left-handed golfer in the history of the game, was previously honoured with an OBE in 1972 and a CBE in 1992.

At the age of 62, he is one of New Zealand’s oldest professional sportsmen and still the only New Zealander to have one of golf’s major championships - the 1963 Open Championship. Upon joining the senior ranks, he won the 1989 Senior British Open at Turnberry and then won for a second time in 1993 at Royal Lytham and St Annes, the scene of his first Major triumph 30 years earlier.

On the US Tour he has won 23 times, amassing over $8 million in the process. During his career he has won 75 tournaments across all five continents.

Sir Robert said: "I was quite elated. It came out of the blue although there had been talk about a knighthood over the years.

"I will keep competing into the next century, all of next year and the following year. My swansong for the Open Championship will be at St Andrews in 2000. Thereafter I’ll be slowing down."