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Peter Thomson (golfer)

Peter William Thomson AO, CBE (23 August 1929 – 20 June 2018) was an Australian professional golfer. He won the Open Championship five times between 1954 and 1965.[2]

Peter Thomson
Personal information
Full namePeter William Thomson
Born(1929-08-23)23 August 1929
Brunswick, Victoria, Australia
Died20 June 2018(2018-06-20) (aged 88)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Height1.77 m (5 ft 10 in)
Nationality Australia
SpouseLois Brauer (m. 1952)
Mary Kelly (m. 1960)
ChildrenDeirdre, Andrew, Peta-Ann, Fiona
Career
Turned professional1949[1]
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
European Tour
Australasian Tour
Senior PGA Tour
Professional wins84
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour6
European Tour1
Japan Golf Tour1
PGA Tour of Australasia33
PGA Tour Champions11
Other28 (European circuit)
13 (regular)
1 (senior)
Best results in major championships
(wins: 5)
Masters Tournament5th: 1957
U.S. OpenT4: 1956
The Open ChampionshipWon: 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1965
PGA ChampionshipDNP
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame1988 (member page)
Arnold Palmer Award
(Champions Tour)
1986

It should be noted that Peter Thomson is the only golfer to win a (modern) major three times in succession. The Open (British) 1954, 1955, 1956.

Contents

LifeEdit

Thomson was born in Brunswick, a northern suburb of Melbourne, Australia. His Open Championship wins came in 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, and 1965. He was the only man to win the tournament for three consecutive years in the 20th century.

Thomson was a prolific tournament champion around the world, winning the national championships of ten countries, including the New Zealand Open nine times. He competed on the PGA Tour in 1953 and 1954 with relatively little success (finishing 44th and 25th on the money list), and after that was an infrequent competitor. However, in 1956, playing in just eight events, he won the rich Texas International Open, and achieved his best finish in one of the three majors staged in the United States (fourth at the U.S. Open), to finish ninth on the money list.

In the era that Thomson won his first four Open Championships, few of the leading professionals from the United States travelled to Britain to play in that event. At that time, the prize money in the Open was insufficient for an American to cover their expenses. However, Thomson demonstrated with his win in 1965 that he could beat a field of the world's best players, as that victory came against a field that included Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tony Lema, three of the top four American golfers from the 1964 money list.

Thomson enjoyed a successful senior career. In 1985 he won nine times on the Senior PGA Tour in the United States, and finished top of the money list. His last tournament victory came at the 1988 British PGA Seniors Championship. He was president of the Australian PGA from 1962 to 1994 and a victorious non-playing captain of the international team in the 1998 Presidents Cup.

He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985.[3]

Thomson was active as a golf writer, contributing to The Age of Melbourne for some 50 years from the early 1950s. He was an honorary member of Royal Melbourne Golf Club. Thomson designed over a hundred golf courses in Australia and around the world.

DeathEdit

Thomson died in Melbourne on 20 June 2018 after a four-year battle with Parkinson's disease at the age of 88. [4][5]

Amateur winsEdit

  • 1947 Australasian Foursomes Shield (with Dick Payne)
  • 1948 Victoria Amateur Championship

Professional wins (84)Edit

PGA Tour wins (6)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 9 Jul 1954 The Open Championship −9 (72-71-69-71=283) 1 stroke   Bobby Locke,   Dai Rees,   Syd Scott
2 8 Jul 1955 The Open Championship −7 (71-68-70-72=281) 2 strokes   John Fallon
3 4 Jun 1956 Texas International Open −13 (67-68-69-63=267) Playoff   Gene Littler,   Cary Middlecoff
4 6 Jul 1956 The Open Championship +2 (70-70-72-74=286) 3 strokes   Flory Van Donck
5 5 Jul 1958 The Open Championship −6 (33-72-67-73=278) Playoff   Dave Thomas
6 9 Jul 1965 The Open Championship −3 (74-68-72-71=285) 2 strokes   Brian Huggett,   Christy O'Connor Snr

Major championships are shown in bold. The Open Championship was not sanctioned by the PGA Tour in Thomson's era, but pre-1995 Open wins were retrospectively classified as PGA Tour wins in 2002.

PGA Tour playoff record (2–0)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1956 Texas International Open   Gene Littler,   Cary Middlecoff Won with birdie on second extra hole
2 1958 The Open Championship   Dave Thomas Won 36-hole playoff (Thomson:139, Thomas:143)

Australasia wins (33)Edit

European circuit wins (28)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 9 Jul 1954 The Open Championship 72-71-69-71=283 1 stroke   Bobby Locke,   Dai Rees,
  Syd Scott
2 2 Oct 1954 News of the World Match Play 38 holes   John Fallon
3 8 Jul 1955 The Open Championship 71-68-70-72=281 2 strokes   John Fallon
4 6 Jul 1956 The Open Championship 70-70-72-74=286 3 strokes   Flory Van Donck
5 21 Jun 1957 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament 65-67-64-68=264 15 strokes   Harry Bradshaw
6 9 May 1958 Dunlop Tournament 70-69-71-71-67=348 3 strokes   Harold Henning
7 14 Jun 1958 Daks Tournament 70-67-69-69=275 Tie   Harold Henning
8 5 Jul 1958 The Open Championship 33-72-67-73=278 Playoff   Dave Thomas
9 11 Oct 1959 Italian Open 69-67-68-65=269 1 stroke   Alfonso Angelini
10 17 Oct 1959 Spanish Open 71-73-72-70=286 2 strokes   Jean Garaïalde,   Syd Scott
11 11 Jun 1960 Daks Tournament 74-66-67-72=279 2 strokes   Tom Haliburton,   Jimmy Hitchcock
12 17 Jun 1960 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament 70-66-65-67=268 5 strokes   Bernard Hunt
13 20 Jun 1960 Bowmaker Tournament 67-65=132 1 stroke   Bernard Hunt
14 24 Jul 1960 German Open 71-67-72-71=281 2 strokes   Roberto De Vicenzo,   Jean Garaïalde
15 23 Jun 1961 Yorkshire Evening News Tournament 70-69-70-73=262 1 stroke   Dai Rees
16 26 Aug 1961 Esso Golden Tournament 21 points Tie   Dave Thomas
17 9 Sep 1961 News of the World Match Play 3 & 1   Ralph Moffitt
18 16 Sep 1961 Dunlop Masters 70-71-72-71=284 8 strokes   Christy O'Connor Snr
19 5 May 1962 Martini International 66-69-72-68=275 4 strokes   Eric Brown
20 20 May 1962 Piccadilly No. 1 Tournament 72-69-73-69=283 3 strokes   Christy O'Connor Snr
21 5 Jun 1965 Daks Tournament 70-71-68-66=275 4 strokes   Guy Wolstenholme
22 9 Jul 1965 The Open Championship 74-68-72-71=285 2 strokes   Brian Huggett,   Christy O'Connor Snr
23 10 Sep 1966 News of the World Match Play 2 & 1   Neil Coles
24 22 Jul 1967 Esso Golden Tournament 20 points Tie   Kel Nagle
25 10 Sep 1967 News of the World Match Play 4 & 3   Dai Rees
26 8 Oct 1967 Alcan International 69-71-73-68=281 5 strokes   Tony Grubb
27 14 Sep 1968 Dunlop Masters 66-69-73-66=274 5 strokes   Dave Thomas
28 13 Jun 1970 Martini International 65-68-68-67=268 Tie   Doug Sewell

European Tour wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 23 Sep 1972 W.D. & H.O. Wills Tournament 71-69-66-64=270 3 strokes   Peter Butler

Japan Golf Tour wins (1)Edit

Other Japan wins (5)Edit

Other wins (8)Edit

Senior PGA Tour wins (11)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner(s)-up
1 16 Sep 1984 World Seniors Invitational −7 (69-69-69-74=281) 1 stroke   Arnold Palmer
2 9 Dec 1984 General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship −2 (67-73-74-72=286) 3 strokes   Don January
3 17 Mar 1985 The Vintage Invitational −7 (69-73-69-69=280) 1 stroke   Billy Casper,   Arnold Palmer
4 31 Mar 1985 American Golf Carta Blanca Johnny Mathis Classic −11 (70-64-71=205) 1 stroke   Don January
5 5 May 1985 MONY Senior Tournament of Champions −4 (70-70-71-73=284) 3 strokes   Don January,   Dan Sikes
6 9 Jun 1985 The Champions Classic −6 (68-72-70=210) 2 strokes   Billy Casper,   Jim Ferree
7 16 Jun 1985 Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am −14 (68-66-68=202) 2 strokes   Lee Elder
8 21 Jul 1985 MONY Syracuse Senior's Classic −9 (70-64-70=203) 2 strokes   Miller Barber,   Gene Littler
9 18 Aug 1985 du Maurier Champions −13 (64-70-69=203) 1 stroke   Ben Smith
10 15 Sep 1985 United Virginia Bank Seniors −9 (69-69-69=207) 4 strokes   George Lanning
11 20 Oct 1985 Barnett Suntree Senior Classic −9 (70-68-69=207) 1 stroke   Charlie Sifford

Senior PGA Tour playoff record (0–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent Result
1 1985 Merrill Lynch/Golf Digest Commemorative Pro-Am   Lee Elder Lost to eagle on first extra hole

Senior major championship is shown in bold.

Other senior wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runner-up
1 26 Jun 1988 Trusthouse Forte PGA Seniors Championship +7 (78-67-72-70=287) 2 strokes   Denis Hutchinson

Major championshipsEdit

Wins (5)Edit

Year Championship 54 holes Winning score Margin Runner(s)-up
1954 The Open Championship Tied for lead −9 (72-71-69-71=283) 1 stroke   Bobby Locke,   Dai Rees,   Syd Scott
1955 The Open Championship (2) 1 shot lead −7 (71-68-70-72=281) 2 strokes   John Fallon
1956 The Open Championship (3) 3 shot lead −2 (70-70-72-74=286) 3 strokes   Flory Van Donck
1958 The Open Championship (4) 2 shot lead −6 (66-72-67-73=278) Playoff 1   Dave Thomas
1965 The Open Championship (5) 1 shot lead −7 (74-68-72-71=285) 2 strokes   Christy O'Connor Snr,   Brian Huggett

1 Defeated Dave Thomas in 36-hole playoff: Thomson (139), Thomas (143)

Results timelineEdit

Tournament 1951 1952 1953 1954 1955 1956 1957 1958 1959
Masters Tournament T36 T16 T18 5 T23 DQ
U.S. Open T26 CUT T4 T22
The Open Championship T6 2 T2 1 1 1 2 1 T23
Tournament 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
Masters Tournament T19 CUT
U.S. Open CUT
The Open Championship T9 7 T6 5 T24 1 T8 T8 T24 T3
Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship T9 T9 T31 T31 CUT CUT CUT T13 T24 T26
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984
Masters Tournament
U.S. Open
The Open Championship CUT

Note: Thomson never played in the PGA Championship.

  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

CUT = missed the halfway cut (3rd round cut in 1975 and 1984 Open Championships)
DQ = disqualified
"T" indicates a tie for a place.

SummaryEdit

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 0 0 0 1 1 5 8 6
U.S. Open 0 0 0 1 1 2 5 3
The Open Championship 5 3 1 10 18 23 30 26
PGA Championship 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 5 3 1 12 20 30 43 35
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 10 (1954 Open Championship – 1958 Open Championship)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 4 (1955 Open Championship – 1957 Masters)

Champions Tour major championshipsEdit

Wins (1)Edit

Year Championship Winning score Margin Runner-up
1984a General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship −2 (67-73-74-72=286) 3 strokes   Don January

a This was the December edition of the tournament.

Team appearancesEdit

HonoursEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Peter Thomson Turns Professional". The Chronicle. 91, (51, 183). South Australia. 21 April 1949. p. 38. Retrieved 22 February 2017 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ "1954 Peter Thomson". The Open. Archived from the original on 26 November 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
  3. ^ "Peter Thomson AO CBE". Sport Australia Hall of Fame. Retrieved 23 December 2013.
  4. ^ Blake, Martin (20 June 2018). "Golf loses a legend in Peter Thomson". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  5. ^ Mason, Peter (20 June 2018). "Peter Thomson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  6. ^ "Thomson Beats Locke". The Singapore Free Press. 20 February 1952.
  7. ^ Thomson, Peter William MBE, It's an Honour, 1 January 1957.
  8. ^ Thomson, Peter William CBE, It's an Honour, 31 December 1979.
  9. ^ a b c "Peter Thomson". Sport Austtralia Hall of Fame website. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  10. ^ "Peter Thomson Trophy". Sandbelt website. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  11. ^ Thomson, Peter William, It's an Honour, 1 January 2001.
  12. ^ Thomson, Peter William AO, It's an Honour, 11 June 2001.
  13. ^ "Victorian Golf Industry Hall of Fame". Golf Victoria website. Retrieved 20 June 2018.
  14. ^ "PGA of Australia mourns the loss of inaugural Immortal". PGA of Australia website. Retrieved 20 June 2018.

External linksEdit