Who's who in golf - Peter Thomson


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Name: - Peter William Thomson
Country: - Australia
Lived : - [1929-2018]. Born August 23, 1929 in Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia. Died aged 88 on June 20, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.
Original Home/Club: - Royal Park GC, Melbourne
Occupation: - Professional golfer, course designer and golf writer.
Turned Pro: - 1947
Web Address: - http://www.thomsonperrett.com.au

Roll of Honour

MAJORS (5): The Open Championship (1954, '55, 56, '58, '65). SENIOR MAJORS (1): PGA Seniors' Ch'ship (1984). Presidents Cup captain (1996, '98, 2000).

Total professional wins (84), of which Australasian Tr (33, incl 3 Australian Opens and 9 NZ Opens); European circuit/Tr (29), US PGA Tr (1); Champions Tr (11); Asian circuit (7); Japan circuit/Tr (6). US Senior PGA Tour leading money winner (1985). World Golf Hall of Fame (inducted in 1988).

Appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire, OBE (1957); Commander of the Order of the British Empire, CBE (1979) and Officer of the Order of Australia, OA (2001).


Golf course design

Thomson enjoyed a highly successful career as a golf course designer, working under his own name, as well as in collaboration with Mike Wolveridge and/or Ross Perrett. He has been involved in over 100 projects, predominantly in Australasia, Asia and Europe. His best known work includes, but is not limited to:

AUSTRALASIA: Alice Springs; Camden Lakeside; Capital GC; Hamilton Island; Hope Island; Long Reef; Manly GC; Moonah Links (Open course); National (Ocean course); Royal Adelaide (1970 redesign); Royal Canberra (1992 redesign); Royal Sydney (1986 redesign); Sandhurst; Yarrawonga (Lake & Murray courses); Wairakei Intl (NZ).

ASIA: Clearwater Bay (Hong Kong, 2006 redesign); Delhi GC, Lodhi course (1978, redesign); Greenwood (Thai); Karnataka (India); Jagorawi (Indonesia); Lake Malaren (China); Shanghai Binhai (China); Royal Chiangmai (Thai); Singapore Island CC, Millennium course (Singapore); Tanah Merah, Garden course (Singapore); Tianjin Fortune Lake (China); Yin Tao Intl (China).

EUROPE: Carya (Turkey); St Andrews, Duke's course (Scotland).


Did you know?

Thomson is the most successful Australian golfer of all time, with five major championship victories and a host of other wins on the Australasian, European, Asian, Japan, US PGA and US PGA Seniors tours. He was the only golfer in the 20th century to win the Open Championship in three consecutive years (1954-56). He also won The Open in 1958 and 1965. Only four other golfers - Harry Vardon (6), James Braid (5), JH Taylor (5) and Tom Watson (5) - have won as many Open Championships.

Thomson also pursued a highly successful career as a golf course designer, often working with Mike Wolveridge and/or Ross Perrett. As a golf writer, he was a long-time contributor to the Melbourne Age, and for many years was the club professional at the world renowned Royal Melbourne Golf Club. He also became president of the Australian PGA for 32 years and among many other achievements helped establish the Asian Tour.

Always one who held strong opinions about the game he loved, Thomson once said that modern golf course design was driven by the desire to make everything look photogenic. He argued that the fairways were now too good, the greens too pure and the bunkers too easy. "A golf course should be a bit wild, at least in some corners. They (the modern designers) have lost the origin of the game as a cross-country adventure." Here, here to that!


Top tournaments won by Peter Thomson

1988Snr EuropePGA Snrs ChampionshipNorth Berwick287
Played as the Forte PGA Seniors Championship. Won by Thomson (Aus). [North Berwick GC, North Berwick, East Lothian].
1985Snr AmericaCanada Snr OpenVancouver GC203 (-8)$23,794
Played as the du Maurier Champions (Aug 16-18; next played in 1996). Second-placed Ben Smith (USA) finished 1 shot behind Thomson (Aus). [The Vancouver GC, Coquitlam, nr Vancouver, BC].
1985Snr AmericaCrestar Classic (Snrs)Hermitage CC, VA207 (-9)$37,500
Played as the United Virginia Bank Seniors Classic. Second-placed George Lanning (USA) finished 4 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [Hermitage CC, Manikin-Sabot, Virginia].
1985Snr AmericaGatlin Bros Snr ClassicWildcreek GC, NV210 (-6)$30,000
Played as The Champions Classic (June 7-9). Second-placed Billy Casper (USA) and Jim Ferree (USA) finished 2 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [Wildcreek GC, Sparks, Nevada].
1985Snr AmericaJohnny Mathis Snr ClassicMountaingate CC205 (-11)$37,500
Played as the American Golf Carta Blanca Johnny Mathis Seniors Classic (March 29-31). Second-placed Don January (USA) finished 1 shot behind Thomson (Aus). [Mountaingate CC, Los Angeles, California].
1985Snr AmericaMitsubishi ChampionshipLa Costa Resort284 (-4)$30,000
Played as the MONY Senior Tournament of Champions (May 2-5). Second-placed Don January (USA) and Dan Sikes (USA) finished 3 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who recorded his fifth Snr PGA Tour win. [North course, La Costa Resort, Carlsbad, Calif. Now known as Champions course].
1985Snr AwardsMoney Winner - US Snr Tr$386,724see Score
Thomson (Aus) won the Arnold Palmer Award as the Senior PGA Tour 1985 leading money winner, with earnings of $386,724 on the Tour. He was the first Australian to win this award. Lee Elder (USA) was second with $307,795; Don January (USA) was third with $247,006.
1985Snr AmericaReunion Pro-AmBent Tree CC, TX202 (-14)$26,000
Played as the inaugural Senior Players Reunion Pro-Am. Second-placed Lee Elder (USA) finished 2 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [Bent Tree CC, Dallas, Texas].
1985Snr AmericaSuntree Snr ClassicSuntree CC207 (-9)$24,750
Played as the Barnett Suntree Senior Classic. Second-placed Charlie Sifford (USA) finished 1 shot behind Thomson (Aus), who recorded the last of his 11 US Snr Tr victories. [Suntree CC, Melbourne, Florida].
1985Snr AmericaSyracuse Snr ClassicLafayette CC, NY204 (-9)$30,000
Played as the MONY Syracuse Senior's Classic. Second-placed Miller Barber (USA) and Gene Littler (USA) finished 2 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [Lafayette CC, Onondaga, Syracuse, NY; this course shut down in 2013].
1985Snr AmericaVintage Invtl.Vintage Club, CA280 (-7)$40,000
Played as the Vintage Invitational. Second-placed Billy Casper (USA) and Arnold Palmer (USA) finished 1 shot behind Thomson (Aus). [Vintage Club, Palm Desert, California].
1984Snr AmericaHome Depot Invtl.Quail Hollow Club281 (-7)$25,000
Played as the World Seniors Invitational. Second-placed Arnold Palmer (USA) finished 1 shot behind first-time US Snr Tr winner Thomson (Aus). [Quail Hollow Club, Charlotte, North Carolina].
1984Snr MajorsUS Snr PGA Ch'shipPGA National286 (-2)$40,000
Played as the General Foods PGA Seniors' Championship (Dec 6-9; Snr PGA Tr season-ending event; second of two PGA Seniors' Championships in 1984). Second-placed Don January (USA) finished 3 shots behind wire-to-wire winner Thomson (Aus), who claimed his only senior major championship title. [Champion course, PGA National Resort, Palm Beach Gdns, FL].
1976Men AsiaIndian OpenRoyal Calcutta288x
Played as the Indian Open. Won by Thomson (Aus). [Royal Calcutta GC, Kolkata, West Bengal, India].
1976Men JapanUbe Kosan OpenUbe 72 CC211 (-5)¥5million
Played as the Pepsi-Wilson Tournament (May 20-23). Thomson (Aus) beat Brian Jones (Aus), Graham Marsh (Aus) and Shozo Miyamoto (Jpn) in a playoff. Event reduced to 54 holes due to bad weather. [Mannennike course, Ube 72 CC, Ube, Yamaguchi, Japan].
1972Men Aus/NZAustralian OpenKooyonga281 (-7)
Played as the Qantas Australian Open (Oct 26-30). 43-year-old Thomson (Aus) beat 26-year-old David Graham (Aus) in an 18-hole playoff (Thomson 68, Graham 74), to record the last of his three Australian Open wins. [Kooyonga GC, Lockleys, Adelaide, SA].
1972Men JapanThe CrownsNagoya GC266 (-14)
Played as the Chunichi Crowns - International Invitation Golf (April 27-30). Won for the second time in four years by Thomson (Aus). [Wago course, Nagoya GC, Aichi, Japan].
1972Men EuropeWills TournamentDalmahoy270 (-14)£2,250
Played as the W.D. & H.O. Wills Tournament (Sept 20-23). Second-placed Peter Butler (Eng) finished 3 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [East course, Dalmahoy Hotel & CC, nr Edinburgh].
1971Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenOtago GC276 (-8)
Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 25-28). Second-placed Maurice Bembridge (Eng) finished 2 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who won this title for the ninth (and last) time in 21 years. [Otago GC, Balmacewen, Dunedin, NZ].
1970Men EuropeMartini Intl.Conwy (Caernarvonshire)268 (-16)£1,250
Played as the Martini International (June 11-13). Peter Thomson (Aus) and Doug Sewell (Eng) finished in a tie for first place. Brian Barnes (Scot) finished 2 shots further back in third place. [Conwy (Caernarvonshire) GC, Conwy, N Wales].
1969Men JapanThe CrownsNagoya GC
Played as the Chunichi Crowns - International Invitation Golf (April 26-29). Won by Thomson (Aus), who recorded his second win on Japan's professional circuit. [Wago course, Nagoya GC, Aichi, Japan].
1968Men EuropeBritish MastersSunningdale, Eng274 (-14)
Played as the Dunlop Masters (Sept 12-14). Second-placed Dave Thomas (Wales) finished 5 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [Old course, Sunningdale GC, Sunningdale, Berks].
1967Men EuropeAlcan InternationalSt Andrews281 (-7)£2,500
Played as the inaugural Alcan International (Oct 5-8; played alongside the Alcan Golfer of the Year Championship). Second-placed Tony Grubb (Eng) finished 5 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [The Old Course, St Andrews, Fife].
1967Men Aus/NZAustralian OpenCommonwealth GC281 (-11)A$2,800
Played as the Australian Open (Oct 25-28). Second-placed Colin Johnston (Aus) finished 7 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who posted the second of his three Australian Open wins. [Commonwealth GC, South Oakleigh, Melbourne, Vic].
1967Men Aus/NZAustralian PGAMetropolitan GC282x
Played as the Australian PGA Ch'ship. Colin Johnston (Aus) and Frank Phillips (Aus) finished in second place behind Thomson (Aus).
1967Men EuropeBritish Match PlayWalton Heath4 & 3£1,250
Played as the News of the World Match Play (Sept 7-10). Defending champion Thomson (Aus) beat Dai Rees (Wales) 4 and 3 in the 18-hole final, to record his fourth win in this event. [Old course, Walton Heath GC, Walton on the Hill, Surrey].
1967Men EuropeEsso Golden T'mentMoor Park20 pts£975
Played as the Esso Golden Tournament (July 20-22; 15-player round-robin match play format). Kel Nagle (Aus) and Peter Thomson (Aus) finished in a tie for first place with 20 pts. Neil Coles (Eng) finished 1 point further back in third place. [High course, Moor Park GC, Rickmansworth, Herts].
1967Men AsiaHong Kong OpenHong Kong GC273 (-7)
Played as the Hong Kong Open. Thomson (Aus) beat Brian Huggett (Wales) with a par at the second playoff hole, to claim the third of his three Hong Kong Open titles. [New course, Hong Kong GC, Fanling; at the time called Royal Hong Kong GC].
1966Men EuropeBritish Match PlayWalton Heath2 & 1£1,250
Played as the News of the World Match Play (Sept 7-10). Peter Thomson (Aus) beat Neil Coles (Eng) 2 and 1 in the 18-hole final. [Old course, Walton Heath GC, Walton on the Hill, Surrey].
1966Men AsiaIndian OpenDelhi GC284x
Played as the Indian Open. Won by Thomson (Aus). [Delhi GC, New Delhi, India].
1965Men EuropeDaks TournamentWentworth Club275 (-21)£1,000
Played as the Daks Tournament (June 3-5). Second-placed Guy Wolstenholme (Eng) finished 4 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [West course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey].
1965Men AsiaHong Kong OpenHong Kong GC278
Played as the Hong Kong Open. Second-placed Ross Newdick (NZ) finished 1 shot behind Thomson (Aus). [New course, Hong Kong GC, Fanling; at the time called Royal Hong Kong GC].
1965Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenRoyal Auckland278 (-2)
Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 18-21). Second-placed Bob Charles (NZ) and defending champion Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 8 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who recorded his eighth win in this event. [Auckland GC, Middlemore, Auckland; now known as Royal Auckland & Grange GC, Otahuhu].
1965Men MajorsThe OpenRoyal Birkdale285 (-3)£1,750
The Open Championship (94th) (July 7-9). Second-placed Brian Huggett (Wales) and Christy O'Connor (Ire) finished 2 shots behind Thomson (Aus). This was the last of Thomson's five Open Championship wins. [Royal Birkdale GC, Southport, Merseyside].
1964Men AsiaIndian OpenDelhi GC292x
Played as the inaugural Indian Open. Won by Thomson (Aus). [Delhi GC, New Delhi, India].
1964Men AsiaPhilippine OpenWack Wack G&CC285 (-3)US$5,000
Played as the Philippine Open. Thomson (Aus) beat Doug Sanders (USA) at the first playoff hole. [East course, Wack Wack G&CC, Manila, Philippines].
1962Men EuropeMartini Intl.St Andrews275£1,000
Played as the £6000 Martini International (May 3-5). Second-placed Eric Brown (Scot) finished 4 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [The Old Course, St Andrews, Fife].
1962Men EuropePiccadilly MedalHillside283 (-5)£2,000
Played as the inaugural Piccadilly No.1 Tournament (May 17-20; 72-hole stroke-play event). Christy O'Connor (Ire) finished 3 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who won the largest golf prize yet offered in Britain. [Hillside GC, Southport, Merseyside. Earlier rounds also on Southport & Ainsdale GC].
1961Men EuropeBritish MastersRoyal Porthcawl284£1,000
Played as the Dunlop Masters (Sept 14-16). Second-placed Christy O'Connor Sr (Ire) finished 8 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [Royal Porthcawl GC, Mid Glamorgan, Wales].
1961Men EuropeBritish Match PlayWalton Heath3 & 1£750
Played as the News of the World Match Play (Sept 6-9). Thomson (Aus) beat Ralph Moffitt (Eng) 3 and 1 in the 18-hole final. [Old course, Walton Heath GC, Walton on the Hill, Surrey].
1961Men EuropeEsso Golden T'mentMoor Park21 pts£995
Played as the inaugural Esso Golden Tournament (Aug 24-26; 15-player round-robin match play format). Peter Thomson (Aus) and Dave Thomas (Wales) finished in a tie for first place with 21pts. Bernard Hunt (Eng) finished 3 pts further back in third place. [High course, Moor Park GC, Rickmansworth, Herts].
1961Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenNew Plymouth GC267
Played as the New Zealand Open (Oct 11-14). Second-placed Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 9 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who won this event for the third straight year. This was the fifth straight year that Thomson and Nagle finished in the top two positions. [New Plymouth GC, Ngamotu Links, New Plymouth, NZ].
1961Men EuropeYorkshire Evening NewsSand Moor282
Played as the Yorkshire Evening News £1735 Tournament (June 21-23). Second-placed Dai Rees (Wales) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Thomson (Aus). [Sand Moor GC, Leeds, W Yorks, England].
1960Men EuropeBowmaker TournamentSunningdale, Eng132£350
Played as the Bowmaker £3000 Tournament (June 19/20; 36-hole pro-am event). Second-placed Bernard Hunt (Eng) finished 1 shot behind Thomson (Aus), who recorded his third straight win in as many starts. [Old course, Sunningdale GC, Sunningdale, Berks].
1960Men EuropeDaks TournamentWentworth Club279£1,000
Played as the Daks Tournament (June 9-11). Second-placed Jimmy Hitchcock (Eng) and Tom Haliburton (Scot) finished 2 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [West course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey].
1960Men EuropeGerman OpenKoln, Refrath281
Played as the German Open (July 22-24). Second-placed Roberto De Vicenzo (Arg) and Jean Garaialde (Fra) finished 2 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who claimed his fourth tournament win in the space of six weeks. [Golf & Land Club Köln, Refrath, nr Cologne].
1960Men AsiaHong Kong OpenHong Kong GC272 (-14)
Played as the Hong Kong Open. Second-placed Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 10 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [New course, Hong Kong GC, Fanling; at the time called Royal Hong Kong GC].
1960Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenInvercargill GC281
Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 18-19). Second-placed Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 1 shot behind defending champion Thomson (Aus). [Invercargill GC, Otatara, Invercargill, NZ].
1960Men EuropeYorkshire Evening NewsMoortown268£500
Played as the Yorkshire Evening News £1550 Tournament (June 14-17). Second-placed Bernard Hunt (Eng) finished 5 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [Moortown GC, nr Leeds, W Yorks, England].
1959Men EuropeItalian OpenVilla d'Este269
Played as the Italian Open (Oct 8-11). Second-placed Alfonso Angelini (Italy) finished 1 shot behind Thomson (Aus). [GC Villa d'Este, Montorfano, nr Como, Lombardy].
1959Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenParaparaumu Beach287 (-5)
Played as the New Zealand Open (Sept 24-27). Thomson (Aus) beat defending champion Kel Nagle (Aus) in an 18-hole playoff (Thomson 67; Nagle 73). On the final hole of regulation play, Nagle holed his approach shot for an eagle-three to force the playoff. [Paraparaumu Beach GC, Paraparaumu, NZ].
1959Men EuropeSpanish OpenEl Prat286
Played as the Spanish Open (Oct 14-17). Second-placed Jean Garaialde (Fra) and Syd Scott (Eng) finished 2 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who recorded back-to-back European circuit wins. [Real (Royal) GC El Prat, El Prat de Llobregat, nr Barcelona Airport. Club now located in Terrassa, nr Barcelona].
1958Men EuropeDaks TournamentWentworth Club275£700
Played as the Daks Tournament (June 11-14). Peter Thomson (Aus) and Harold Henning (S Africa) finished in a tie for first place. Bobby Locke (S Africa) and Bernard Hunt (Eng) were 2 shots further back in joint third place. [West course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey].
1958Men EuropeDunlop TournamentWentworth Club348£500
Played as the Dunlop Tournament (May 6-9; played over 90 holes). Second-placed Harold Henning (S Africa) finished 3 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [West course, Wentworth Club, Virginia Water, Surrey].
1958Men MajorsThe OpenRoyal Lytham278 (-10)£1,000
The Open Championship (87th) (July 2-5). Thomson (Aus) beat Dave Thomas (Wales) in a 36-hole playoff: Thomson 139 (-3), Thomas 143 (+1). This was the fourth of Thomson's five Open Championship wins. [Royal Lytham & St Annes GC, nr Blackpool, Lancs].
1957Men EuropeYorkshire Evening NewsSand Moor265£500
Played as the Yorkshire Evening News £1550 Tournament (June 18-21). Second-placed Harry Bradshaw (Ire) finished 15 shots behind Thomson (Aus), whose rounds of 65, 67, 64 and 68 produced a tournament record aggregate of 264. [Sand Moor GC, Leeds, W Yorks, England].
1956Men AmericaByron Nelson Ch'shipPreston Hollow267 (-13)$13,478
Played as the Texas International Open (June 1-4). Thomson (Aus) beat Cary Middlecoff (USA) and Gene Littler (USA) with a birdie at the second playoff hole. [Preston Hollow CC, Dallas, TX. This club no longer exists].
1956Men MajorsThe OpenRoyal Liverpool286 (-2)£1,000
The Open Championship (85th) (July 4-6). Second-placed Flory Van Donck (Belg) finished 3 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who won this title for the third straight year. This was the third of Thomson's five Open Championship wins. [Royal Liverpool GC, Hoylake, Wirral, Merseyside].
1955Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenRoyal Auckland280 (-8)
Played as the New Zealand Open (Oct 6-8). Second-placed Kel Nagle (Aus) finished 10 shots behind Thomson (Aus). [Auckland GC, Middlemore, Auckland; now known as Royal Auckland & Grange GC, Otahuhu].
1955Men MajorsThe OpenSt Andrews281 (-7)£1,000
The Open Championship (84th) (July 6-8). Second-placed John Fallon (Scot) finished 2 shots behind defending champion Thomson (Aus). This was the second of Thomson's five Open Championship wins. [The Old Course, St Andrews, Fife].
1954Men EuropeBritish Match PlaySt Andrews38th hole£750
Played as the News of the World Match Play (Sept 30-Oct 2). Thomson (Aus) beat Johnny Fallon (Eng) at the 38th hole in the final. [The Old Course, St Andrews, Fife].
1954Men MajorsThe OpenRoyal Birkdale283 (-5)£750
The Open Championship (83rd) (July 7-9). Second-placed Sydney S. Scott (Eng), Bobby Locke (RSA) and Dai Rees (Wales) finished 1 shot behind Thomson (Aus). This was the first of Thomson's five Open Championship wins. [Royal Birkdale GC, Southport, Merseyside].
1953Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenOtago GC295 (+7)
Played as the New Zealand Open (Nov 13-15). Second-placed Frank Buckler (NZ) finished 5 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who won this event for the third time in four years. [Otago GC, Balmacewen, Dunedin, NZ].
1953Men Aus/NZNew Zealand PGAOtago GC
Played as the New Zealand PGA Championship. Won by Peter Thomson (Aus). [Otago GC, Balmacewen, Dunedin, NZ].
1951Men Aus/NZAustralian OpenMetropolitan GC283
Played as the Australian Open (Oct 4-6). Second-placed Norman Von Nida (Aus) finished 4 shots behind 22-year-old Thomson (Aus), who posted the first of his three Australian Open wins. [Metropolitan GC, South Oakleigh, Melbourne, Aus].
1951Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenTitirangi GC288
Played as the New Zealand Open (Sept 27-29). Second-placed Frank Buckler (NZ) and Tim Woon (NZ, amateur) finished 4 shots behind defending champion Thomson (Aus). [Titirangi GC, New Lynn, Auckland, NZ].
1950Men Aus/NZNew Zealand OpenChristchurch GC280
Played as the New Zealand Open. Second-placed Alf Guy (NZ) finished 9 shots behind Thomson (Aus), who recorded the first of his nine NZ Open titles. [Christchurch GC, Shirley Links, Christchurch, NZ].

 

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