WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Bob Charles, the first left-hander to win one of golf’s major tournaments, has been awarded New Zealand’s highest civil honor.
Charles was admitted to the Order of New Zealand, an honor restricted to only 20 living New Zealanders. He won the 1963 British Open and finished his career with 66 tournament victories.
The 74-year-old Charles won the British Open after a 36-hole playoff with American Phil Rodgers and was a six-time winner on the PGA tour. He was knighted for services to golf in 1999 and has been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The coach and captain of the New Zealand football team which was unbeaten at this year’s World Cup were also recognized in the annual New Year’s honors list.