Finch wins, Charles stands out at New Zealand Open

Updated: December 2, 2007, 1:05 AM ET
Associated Press

QUEENSTOWN, New Zealand -- England's Richard Finch won the New Zealand Open on Sunday for his first pro victory, while 71-year-old Bob Charles shared the spotlight by shooting his age or better for the third straight day.

The 30-year-old Finch shot an even-par 72 for a three-stroke victory over Australians Steven Bowditch (72) and Paul Sheehan (69) in the event sanctioned by the European and Australasian tours. Finish had a 14-under 274 total on The Hills course.

"Going into today, I felt it was in my hands and if I played well, played as I had been all week, this would be the outcome," Finch said. "I stumbled a bit on the back nine when I started thinking too much about what I was doing. It's the first time I've been in this position and it was difficult to know how to do it."

Charles, the oldest man to make the cut on a major non-seniors tour, added a 70 Sunday to rounds of 75, 68 and 71 to tie for 23rd at 4 under.

The first left-hander to win a major championship when he took the 1963 British Open, Charles won the New Zealand Open as an amateur in 1954 and added the 1966, 1970 and 1973 titles as a pro.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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