Many modern golf fans are aware that Tom Watson has won five British Open championships, but in a previous generation, another man also accomplished the feat. Australia’s Peter Thomson won the title in 1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, and 1965.Thomson was more than just a major champion. According to a 1968 Sport Illustrated article, Thomson is widely credited with successfully starting the first international tour in Asia. He didn’t play all that much in America, preferring the harder links in foreign countries to the air game that softer American courses required. Still, he won the Texas International Open in 1956, and had a number of good finishes in the United States. Thomson did make a splash in the US in 1985, winning nine times on the Senior (now Champions) Tour at the age of 55. He has also designed over 100 courses.Thomson was a cultured man, often attending operas and symphony performances, and read books that were of great substance. He enjoyed a friendship with then-Australian Prime Minister Robert Menzies. His personality and interests often clashed with those of the American golfers, so Thomson was not a popular figure during his time, but was well-respected. He is retired from professional golf and lives in Melbourne with his wife Mary.
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