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1963 British Open
Recap and Scores for the 1963 British Open Golf Tournament

Bob Charles deserved a lot of left-handed compliments - and plenty of right-handed ones, too - after winning the 1963 British Open. The victory made him the first left-handed golfer in the sport's history to win a major.

Charles, from New Zealand, defeated American Phil Rodgers in a 36-hole playoff. They finished 72 holes tied at 277, Rodgers closing with a 69 and Charles with a 71.

Rodgers had been the halfway leader, ahead of Jack Nicklaus by three, with Charles five behind. But Charles shot 66 in Round 3 to lead Rodgers and Nicklaus by two, with 4-time champ Peter Thomson in second, one back. Nicklaus just missed out on the playoff, bogeying the 72nd hole to shoot 70 and finish one behind Charles and Rodgers. Thomson struggled with a final-round 78 and finished eight shots off the lead.

Charles and Rodgers played a 36-hole playoff - the last time that format was used in a British Open - the next day. And Charles' putting was too good for Rodgers. The Kiwi shot 69-71--140 to Rodgers' 72-76--148. The R&A's tournament history notes that Charles used 56 putts compared to Rodgers' 65 putts in the playoff.

This proved to be the only major for Charles, although he later added three runner-up finishes and twice finished third in other majors.

Great things were expected of Rodgers; his second-place here was on the heels of third-place showings at the 1962 U.S. and British opens. From 1962-66, Rodgers won five times on the PGA Tour, but that was it. He later became a very highly respected golf instructor specializing in short-game skills. As an instructor, one of the first golfers Rodgers worked with was Nicklaus.

1963 British Open Golf Tournament Scores
Results from the 1963 British Open golf tournament played at the par-71 Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in Lytham St. Annes, England (x-won playoff; a-amateur):

x-Bob Charles 68-72-66-71--277
Phil Rodgers 67-68-73-69--277
Jack Nicklaus 71-67-70-70--278
Kel Nagle 69-70-73-71--283
Peter Thomson 67-69-71-78--285
Christy O'Connor Sr. 74-68-76-68--286
Gary Player 75-70-72-70--287
Ramon Sota 69-73-73-72--287
Jean Garaialde 72-69-72-75--288
Sebastian Miguel 73-69-73-73--288
Bernard Hunt 72-71-73-73--289
Alex King 71-73-73-72--289
Sewsunker Sewgolum 71-74-73-72--290
Brian Allen 75-71-71-74--291
Brian Huggett 73-74-70-74--291
Hugh Lewis 71-77-69-74--291
Ian MacDonald 71-71-74-75--291
Peter Alliss 71-74-77-70--292
Frank Phillips 70-73-75-74--292
Neil Coles 73-75-72-73--293
Max Faulkner 77-71-71-74--293
Harold Henning 76-68-71-78--293
Malcolm Leeder 76-73-74-70--293
John A. MacDonald 73-75-75-70--293
Brian Wilkes 70-77-74-72--293
Jimmy Hitchcock 75-73-70-76--294
Arnold Palmer 76-71-71-76--294
Doug Sewell 75-72-73-74--294
Dave Thomas 74-74-75-71--294
Ken Bousfield 73-75-71-76--295
Tom Haliburton 68-73-77-77--295
Tony Jacklin 73-72-76-74--295
Bruce Devlin 74-71-74-77--296
Denis Hutchinson 74-71-74-77--296
Ted Large 78-71-76-71--296
Fred Boobyer 76-70-74-77--297
Stewart Davies 76-69-79-73--297
Walter Godfrey 75-74-75-73--297
Tony Grubb 77-72-74-75--298
Geoffrey Hunt 71-76-75-76--298
Lionel Platts 74-75-78-71--298
Anthony Moore 72-74-75-78--299
Dai Rees 72-77-75-75--299
Donald Swaelens 70-75-77-78--300
Robert Walker 75-73-75-78--301
Hedley Muscroft 72-77-81-75--305
Fred Bullock 75-74-82-74--305

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