Date: August 13, 2009

Thomson set for birthday milestone

Tributes are beginning to come from around the world for golfing great Peter Thomson AO, CBE who will shortly celebrate his 80 birthday. The five-time British Open champion was born in Melbourne on 23 August 1929 and grew up in Brunswick, a stone&aposs throw from the Royal Park public course where he learned to play. His first victory of note was the Royal Park club title in 1946 at the age of 16 and his last was the 1988 British Seniors Championship. Along the way he won as a professional at least once a year from 1950 to 1973 and while most of his victories were overseas, he gave his home town some thrilling moments. Among them were winning the 1959 Canada Cup for Australia with Kel Nagle and captaining the International Team to its only victory against the might of the United States in the 1998 Presidents Cup, both at Royal Melbourne. His record of nine wins on the US Senior in 1985 is yet to be threatened and he remains the only man of the 20th and 21st Centuries to win the British Open three years in a row (1954-56). In addition to his brilliant playing career, he found time to design and build more than 100 courses around the world, serve as the chairman of the Australian PGA for 32 years, run for Parliament in Victoria and pioneer the professional golf circuit in Asia while his writing for newspapers and magazines continues after 55 years.