Ogilvy: Thomson was our greatest ever golfer
The arguments went on for years but as far as former US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy is concerned there was no betting.
Peter Thomson was the greatest golfer Australia had ever produced – simple as that.
Geoff Ogilvy (Credit: Anthony Powter)
And simplicity, according to Ogilvy, was how Thomson treated the game.
“He viewed golf with such a simplicity and couldn’t understand why we always made the game so complicated,” wrote Ogilvy in a moving treatment to Thomson following his passing last week.
“To him it was simply a case of tee the ball up and hit it down the fairway, smile on your way to the green and hole the putt and go on to the next hole.”
“To Peter there was never anything more to golf than that and I don’t know if I have ever met anyone who has viewed golf as simply as him.”
“To be fair, in his time, I don’t know if there was anyone better than him.”
“He was just brilliant. He was very physically gifted and he never got in the way of that.”
“He wrote articles in the newspapers while he had an apartment near the 18th hole at St. Andrews.”
“And he just loved the game so much and it seemed like he thoroughly enjoyed every minute that he had anything to do with the game.”
“He was nothing more than a legend, really.”
Ogilvy, who hailed from the same golf club, Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne’s sandbelt admitted his boyhood hero was a dashing Queenslander named Greg Norman with his shock of blond hair dominating world golf.
Yet as Ogilvy grew older and in the mid to late 1990s when he was becoming one of Australia’s more-talented amateurs, his heroes changed and his attention soon turned to the player he had first met at the Victoria Club many years beforehand.
“Peter was a member of the Victoria Golf Club in Melbourne where I am grew-up and growing-up in Australia our golfing heroes were Greg Norman, Steve Elkington and the others,” said Ogilvy.
“Thommo was kind of too old to be a hero to us but then as I grew older and my golf game improved and improved I would talk to him a fair few times.”
“And I would read what he achieved in the game and also the way he carried himself.”
“It became pretty obvious he was the guy that should have been our hero.”
“Thommo then became my hero.”
“He was incredibly wise…and he always seemed to be in a good mood.”
“He won five Open Championships including four in five years and that’s just amazing.”
“The one possible black mark on his record was to say he was never any good competing in America.”
“But then he travelled to the States for the Seniors Tour in 1985 and won nine times in a season, and it was if to say: ‘Look you guys. I am still better than you’ and then he kind of just went away.”
“He could win virtually where ever he wanted to…and he won everywhere.”
“He was ‘Australia’s greatest-ever golfer without question.’”