The family of Australian golf great Peter Thomson announced his passing today.
He had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease for more than four years and lost his brave battle at home in Melbourne surrounded by family at 9am, Melbourne time. Born on August 23, 1929, he was two months short of his 89th birthday.
The first Australian to win the British Open went on to secure the title five times between 1954 and 1965, a record equalled in the 20th and 21st centuries only by American Tom Watson.
On the American senior circuit he won nine times in 1985, setting a record that may never be broken. As well as a great player, he was an outstanding contributor to the game, serving as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years, designing and building courses in Australia and around the world, helping establish the Asian Tour and working behind the scenes for the Odyssey House drug rehabilitation organisation where he was chairman for five years. He also wrote for newspapers and magazines for more than 60 years and was patron of the Australian Golf Writers Association.
In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his service to golf and in 2001 became an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for his contributions as a player and administrator and for community service.
Peter is survived by his wife Mary, son Andrew and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.