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Thursday, 05 July 2012
Bob Charles and Gary Player  (Getty Images)
Bob Charles and Gary Player (Getty Images)

The European Senior Tour welcomes back two of golf’s all-time greats this weekend as Bob Charles and Gary Player are reunited at the Bad Ragaz PGA Seniors Open.

Charles, the New Zealander who became the first left-hander to win a Major at The 1963 Open Championship at Royal Lytham Saint Annes, received a Knighthood for services to golf in 1999.

The 76 year old enjoyed a dazzling career which yielded almost 80 titles around the world, including the 1993 Senior Open Championship, 30 years after his Open success.

Charles remains the oldest player to make the cut at a European Tour event after his 23rd place finish in the 2007 New Zealand Open – which included a brilliant second round 68 – aged 71 years and 261 days.

There is not much left to be said about Player. The South African, also 76, won nine Majors to tie the great Ben Hogan as the fourth most successful Major Champion in history. Player has also won nine Senior Majors, including the Senior Open Championship on three occasions.

Sir Bob and the Black Knight last played together competitively as a team in the 2010 Liberty Mutual Insurance Legends of Golf, where they successfully defended their title in the Demaret Division – a 36-hole two-man team better-ball event for men over 70.

Player is looking forward to being reunited with his old friend at Golf Club Bad Ragaz, where they will join many of the European Senior Tour’s biggest names, including defending champion Peter Fowler, Carl Mason, Sam Torrance and Ian Woosnam, in the €280,000 event.

“It’s going to be great to go to Bad Ragaz and see Bob again,” Player said after the final round of the Berenberg Bank Masters, where he was the Tournament Ambassador.

“We have played together since we won the Legends of Golf, so it will be good to catch up. I’m looking forward to playing in a competitive environment again. My wife told me I was spending too much time at home on the farm so I thought I had better get back out on Tour!

“But it’s going to be a great week in a beautiful place and it will really nice to catch up with Bob and so many other old friends at the tournament.

“I haven’t played competitively for a while so I am not too sure what to expect, but the one great thing about being my age is that I can sometimes come off a golf course and say: ‘I shot lower than my age out there today.’ Not too many people can do that!”

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1THELEN, TimUSA18-12
2JAMES, MarkENG18-10
3WOOSNAM, IanWAL18-9
T4MCALLISTER, StephenSCO18-8
T4SMYTH, DesIRL18-8
T4FORSBRAND, AndersSWE18-8
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