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Bob Charles elected to the Hall of Fame

New Zealander Bob Charles, who became the first left-hander to win a major title, has been voted on to the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2008.

Charles, whose election was announced on Wednesday during a teleconference call, was chosen in the veterans’ category by the World Golf Foundation (WGF) board of directors’ selection committee.

The 72-year-old from Carterton will be inducted on Nov. 10 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, along with Americans Carol Semple Thompson, Pete Dye and posthumously Craig Wood, Denny Shute and Herbert Warren Wind.

“To be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame is a great honour for me,” Charles said.

“After 50 years of competitive golf around the world, I am proud to be joining my peers in recognition of my life in golf.”

Charles, a winner of more than 60 titles worldwide in a glittering career, clinched his only major victory at the 1963 British Open where he beat American Phil Rodgers in a playoff.

Known as one of the game’s best putters, he triumphed five times on the U.S. PGA Tour and claimed eight titles on the European Tour.

He also won four New Zealand Opens and three New Zealand PGA Championships before embarking on a successful senior career that included the Senior British Open in 1989 and 1993.

“Sir Bob thoroughly deserves to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame,” said nine-times major winner Gary Player of South Africa, the Hall of Fame’s global ambassador.

“He is a quiet and reserved man but has always been a thorough gentleman and has represented the world of golf in a most distinguished manner.

The five other Hall of Fame inductees were announced earlier this year.

Wood, whose career tally of 21 PGA Tour titles included the 1941 Masters and U.S. Open, was elected on the PGA Tour ballot.

Shute, winner of the 1933 British Open and the PGA Championship in 1936 and 1937, was chosen in the veterans’ category.

Semple Thompson, winner of the 1973 U.S. women’s amateur and the 1974 British Ladies open amateur titles, and renowned golf course architect Pete Dye were selected in the Lifetime Achievement category.

Wind, who wrote for The New Yorker from 1947 to 1953 and from 1960 to 1990, was also chosen in the Lifetime Achievement category. He is best known for coining the phrase “Amen Corner” to describe holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National.

The World Golf Hall of Fame’s voting body comprises Hall of Fame members, golf writers and historians, the WGF board of directors and members of the Hall of Fame’s advisory board.


July 10, 2008

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