Peter Thomson celebrates 84th birthday

Most senior golf experts rate him as Australia’s greatest – ever.

So it is worth noting that five-time British Open champion Peter Thomson last week celebrated his 84th birthday.

Peter Thomson Peter Thomson

Still hale and hearty and taking an active role in his booming golf course design business, Thomson not only won the Open Championship five times, he is the only player in the 20th century to win it three consecutive years.

And while Greg Norman had an equally-impressive world-wide record, “Thommo”, amazingly, won the national championship of 10 different countries, including three Australian Open titles as well.

He also captained the Internationals to their only victory over the US in the history of The Presidents Cup and also served as chairman of the PGA of Australia for 30 years from 1964 to 1994.

Thomson has been a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame since 1988.

And for those who would suggest he never got the opportunity to show his class in the United States, mainly due to the problems of travel in those years when he was at the peak of his powers, the great Arnold Palmer can set them straight:

“A lot of American golfers did not know just how good Thommo was,” says Arnie.

“He certainly showed them when he came here for several years to play the Seniors Tour and had that remarkable season in 1985 when he won nine times.”

And Thomson himself reacted to that mighty year on the US Seniors Tour when he commented: “Well that’s it, you can see that I can play a bit.”

And he never bothered to return.

How right he was.