Two-time NZ Open winner Bob Glading dies

Last updated 12:20 19/08/2014
Bob Glading
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FINE FORM: Bob Glading was a skilled golfer, even in his later years, shown here at age 92 playing in the New Zealand PGA Pro-Am in 2012.

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Two-time New Zealand Open champion and golfing personality Bob Glading died this morning.

Glading was a player, a coach, a caddy, commentator and a club-maker who won the New Zealand Open in 1946 at the Manawatu Golf Club as an amateur then defended his title a year later as a professional in New Plymouth.

Sixty years after his second New Zealand Open win, Glading became a member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Glading, who was 94, died at 2.40am this morning, according to a New Zealand Golf statement.

A handy golfer even well into his retirement, Glading was one of the sport's true gentlemen.

Even in his 90s, Glading was able to steal the show on the golf course and upstaged friend Sir Bob Charles at the 2010 New Zealand Golf centenary celebrations.

Sir Bob, 74 at the time, shot 69 at the Heretaunga course, only for Glading to shoot 80 - 10 shots under his age.

Phil Aickin, New Zealand Golf's golf manager and former Eisenhower Trophy player, ranked playing alongside Glading that day and seeing the 80 at Heretaunga as ''one of my most enjoyable rounds of golf ever''.

Glading poked fun at himself over what was his sole hole in one, on the eighth hole at Muriwai in 1999.

''I estimate it was my 13,000th attempt,'' he said.

''[And I] did it with a yellow ball.''

Chairman of the board of New Zealand Golf Paul Fyfe said Glading was one of the game's great characters.

"Bob was a legend in New Zealand golfing circles for the things that he achieved but more importantly the person that he was," Fyfe said.

"His love for the game was infectious and anywhere he went around New Zealand he was warmly greeted. Everyone loved Bob.

''He was always at our New Zealand Opens talking about the game he loved with anyone and everyone he came across.

''He will be sorely missed by our golf community and the many people's lives he touched.

''Our thoughts are with the Glading family as they cope with their loss."

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