On this day in 1936 Bob Charles was born. Decades before Phil Mickelson or Mike Weir won major championships, New Zealand’s Bob Charles was prominently known as the best left-handed player in the game.
Charles made a name for himself in his homeland, at age 18, when he topped a field that included Peter Thomson to claim the first of his four New Zealand Open titles. Though never a long hitter, Charles was universally known as one of the game’s elite putters. He drained a clutch 5-footer at the 72nd hole in the 1963 British Open to force a playoff with American Phil Rogers, whom he defeated by eight strokes the following day. In addition to his six PGA Tour wins and 23 International victories, Charles won 23 times on the Champions Tour between 1987 and 1996.