Lytham and St Annes



Lytham and St Annes — 1963

Bob Charles remains the only left-hander ever to have won The OpenCharles Putts For Victory

The 1963 Open at Lytham produced another 36-hole play-off, the second in succession after Peter Thomson’s extra-time victory over Dave Thomas five years earlier. This time the protagonists were opposites in every respect. Bob Charles, the tall, thin-as a rake New Zealand left-hander was quiet and undemonstrative. His opponent, short, solidly-built American ex-Marine Phil Rodgers, had a habit of racing across the green and slamming his cap over the hole when a long putt dropped.

A third round of 73 had cost Rodgers his impressive lead — three ahead of Jack Nicklaus and five in front of Charles. The New Zealander leap-frogged to the head of the field with a 66, leaving Rodgers and Nicklaus two shots behind in a share of second place.

A bunkered tee shot at the last cost Nicklaus a five in the fourth round, and the chance of a place in the play-off, while Rodgers made up the two-shot deficit on Charles with a fine 69 to force the contest into overtime.

But the American suffered badly over the extra 36 holes. He undoubtedly played the better golf from tee to green, but Charles maintained his reputation as one of the world’s finest putters. Locking arms, hands and putter into one solid unit he rocked his shoulders back and forwards in a classic pendulum action that was devastating. In the morning round he had only 26 putts, including 11 singles. Seven times he got up and down from rough or bunkers.

Three shots behind at the lunch break, Rodgers dropped further strokes at the opening two holes of the afternoon to be five adrift after 20 holes. Then came his chance. Charles hooked out-of-bounds onto the railway line at the third and Rodgers birdied two of the next three holes to close within a stroke.

Then his momentum was stopped in its tracks when his second shot to the long seventh finished under the face of a greenside bunker. Charles piled on the putting pressure throughout the afternoon to open up an eight stroke margin of victory. In his rounds of 69-71 Charles had 56 putts. Rodgers totalled 65 putts in rounds of 72-76.

Newsletter
  • Patrons of The Open 2014

    The R&A extends its gratitude to its Patrons for their support of The Open Championship.

  • Doosan
  • HSBC
  • Mastercard
  • Mercedes Benz
  • Nikon
  • NTT DATA
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Rolex

+ Sitemap

News
News Archive
Newsletter - Register for latest news
Latest Weather from the Met Office
Leaderboard
Tee Times
Hospitality
Course Guide
Information
Spectator Advice
TV schedule
2014 Ticket Prices
Accommodation
Travel To The Course
The Open at Liverpool One
Employment and Volunteering
Patrons
Official Suppliers
Future Venues
The Open magazine
Ticket Registration 2015
Players
Current Field – 2014
Entry List
Exempt players page
Open Champions
History
Previous Opens
Open Champions
Do You Know
Claret Jug
Open Venues
Media
Notes on Media Accreditation
The R&A Film Archive
Accommodation
Media Accreditation Contact
Media Centre Register
Media Centre - Approved Users
Bulletins
Transcripts
Championship Stats
Publications
Contact Details
2013 Media Centre
Video & Audio
Video & Audio
Highlights
Features
Press Conferences
Social
Shop

Share usingclose

Google iconGoogle BookmarksDeliciousDeliciousDiggDiggFacebookFacebookNewsvineNewsvineNowPublicNowPublicRedditRedditStumbleUponStumbleUponPrint this page