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Australian Golf Legend Peter Thomson has died at the age of 88

20 June 2018: His first time at the golf greens was when he was a toddler and it was at the nine-hole Royal Park in Melbourne where he learned to swing it right. On his 12th birthday, he received a 2-iron and expanded his practice hours vigorously.  A year later, another delightful gift was unwrapped – a full set of clubs and a membership to Royal Park. 
That’s how three-time International Team Presidents Cup Captain Peter Thomson was made a golfer. His initial handicap was 20 and two years later, his devotion towards golf brought him the winner’s trophy of the Club Championship. 
Since then golf remained the center of Thomson’s life. Thompson is a prolific tournament champion who will always be remembered for his five Open Championship victories and his work as a three-time International Team Presidents Cup captain.  
Born August 23, 1929, in Brunswick, Australia, Thomson became one of Australia’s first internationally-renowned golfers. Truth be told, he was much more than just a golfer, he earned a degree in chemistry but determined he decided to pursue professional golf career instead of becoming a chemist. That is not it. Thomson was always a man with numerous interests. He developed an awareness in rehabilitating drug addicts and he also opened the Melbourne Odyssey House. 
During his early days as a professional, he also made contributions to newspaper columns and articles for the Melbourne Age. 1970 marked the formation of South Pacific Golf with John Harris and Michael Wolveridge, which is now known as Thomas Perrett. As an architect, Thomson and his team worked on the golf course design projects around the world. He and his team have worked on golf course design projects around the world, with most of the company’s focus on Australia and New Zealand, as well as of Asia and, more recently, Europe. 
To talk of golf again, his is the only player post-19th century to win the Open three consecutive times. 
“Peter was a champion in every sense of the word, both on the course and in life. Many know him as a five-time Champion Golfer of the Year or as a three-time Captain of the Presidents Cup International Team,” said former PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “But he was also a great friend, father, grandfather and husband. He was golfing royalty, and our sport is a better one because of his presence. Our hearts are with his wife, Mary, and the entire Thomson family at this time as we remember the significant impact Peter made on us all.”
Thomson won the national championships of 10 countries, including the New Zealand Open nine times. He bagged 34 Australasian and 26 European Tour victories and competed on the PGA Tour in 1953, 1954, and 1956. His first of 26 European Tour titles came at the 1954 News of the World Match Play Championship at St. Andrews. That same year, he teamed with Kel Nagle and won for Australia the World Cup played at Laval-Sur-Le Lac in Montreal, Canada. The duo won the World Cup again in 1959, a sweet victory for the team with it coming at Royal Melbourne Golf Club. In 1956, playing in just eight PGA TOUR tournaments, he won his lone TOUR title on U.S. soil, the Texas International, a tournament now known as the AT&T Byron Nelson. He also tied for fourth at the U.S. Open.
Thomson enjoyed a successful career even after turning 50, winning 11 tournaments. His finest season and one of the best in history came in 1985, when he won nine times, including half of the circuit’s first 10 events. He finished atop the money list that year. Thomson’s last tournament victory came at the 1988 British PGA Seniors Championship. 
Thomson was also instrumental in the growth of the Presidents Cup as an important, international, and biennial event. He captained the International team in 1996, 1998 and 2000. It was the 1998 tournament where the International team broke through and defeated its United States counterpart for the first and only time, winning 20 ½ to 11 ½ at his beloved Royal Melbourne Golf Club, where Thomson had served as the club professional.
In 1962, Thomson began a 32-year run as president of the Australian. In 1979 he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his service to golf, and in 2001 he was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his service to golf as a player and administrator, and to the community.
In 1988, he received golf’s highest honor as he entered the World Golf Hall of Fame, inducted with Tom Watson and Bob Harlow.
At the age of 88, he died on June 20, 2018. 
Thomson had suffered from Parkinson's disease for more than four years, his family told PGA Australia (PGAA). Thomson is survived by his wife, Mary, his son Andrew, and daughters Deirdre Baker, Pan Prendergast and Fiona Stanway, their spouses, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

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