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World Golf Hall of Famer Bob Charles hopes to celebrate his 73rd birthday Saturday by playing a round of golf – on the Nationwide Tour.

Charles will tee it up this week in the New Zealand Open, hoping to repeat his performance in 2007, when he twice bettered his age and finished T-23. He is believed to be the oldest golfer to make the cut on any of the world’s non-senior tours.

This is the first year the New Zealand Open is being co-sanctioned by the Nationwide Tour (along with the Australasian Tour) after not being held last year. Charles has won his country’s national championship four times; he also captured the 1963 British Open.

Charles’ chances of making the cut have been hurt by a cold front that brought snow to Queenstown on Wednesday.

“My hands are white and I have absolutely no feeling in them in these conditions, so my expectations are rather low,’’ Charles said before the pro-am. “I’ve not played competitively this year – I’ve probably played six to 10 rounds, but I enjoy hitting balls and find time every other day to hit between 70 and 100.’’

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