The Sport Australia Hall of Fame (SAHOF) is mourning the passing of our esteemed Member Peter William Thomson AO CBE. After suffering from Parkinson’s disease for more than four years, Peter has sadly passed away at 9am this morning (20/06/2018), surrounded by family.
Peter Thomson was an inaugural Inductee into The Sport Australia Hall of Fame in 1985 and was Elevated to Legend status in 2001.
Peter will be remembered as one of Australia’s greatest ever sportsmen. He not only broke ground as the first Aussie to win the British Open, he went on to win the esteemed title five times – a feat only shared to this day by Tom Watson of the US. His contribution off the course was just as iconic, leading the PGA as President for 32 years, helping to establish the Asian Tour.
SAHOF Chairman John Bertrand AO said; “Peter, known as the “thinking man’s golfer” is an icon of sport in this country and his record which has stood the test of time is truly remarkable. He was the first Golfer to be Elevated to Legend status with The Sport Australian Hall of Fame, an honour befitting his record on and off the golf course. Peter was a stalwart attendee of our Annual Awards Dinner, proudly taking his place amongst his fellow Members of The Sport Australia Hall of Fame every year, and he will be missed by all. Vale Peter and our sympathies to Mary and his family”
He 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.
Peter Thomson AO CBE | Athlete Member (Golf) | The Sport Australia Hall of Fame
23/08/1929 – 20/06/2018
Peter Thomson’s clean, brisk game was based on cold logic and a gift for reducing things to their simplest essentials. His style was free of the extraneous, so that the path he would take to victory seemed a remarkably straight line. Thomson seemed pressure-proof. His grip was light, his manner brisk and his motion through the ball graceful and devoid of much physical effort. He was a reliable and occasionally brilliant putter. “There were no frills,” said Norman von Nida, “so virtually nothing could go wrong.”
Thomson’s first experiences of golf were brief interludes on the Royal Park course, sneaking on for a quick few holes. His natural talent was soon spotted, official membership arranged and the way cleared for him to become club champion just after his 16th birthday. He studied to be an industrial chemist and took a job with Spalding but gave it up in 1949 to become a professional golfer.