Peter Thomson, the Australian golf great who won the Open Championship five times between 1954 and 1965, died Wednesday at his home in Melbourne, his family announced. Thomson, who had battled Parkinson’s disease in recent years, was 88.
Thomson, who was the first Australian to win the Open, raised the Claret Jug in 1954, ’55, ’56, ’58 and ’65 and was runner-up in the Open three times in the 1950s. Only Harry Vardon, with six titles, won more Opens than Thomson, who equaled James Braid and J.H. Taylor with five victories, a total Tom Watson later matched.
Thomson also won three Australian Opens among 84 pro titles worldwide.
Thomson won nine times on the Senior PGA Tour in 1985, served as president of the Australian PGA for 32 years and helped establish the Asian Tour. A prolific course designer, Thomson captained the International team in the Presidents Cup three times. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.
Thomson is survived by his wife, Mary, a son, three daughters, 11 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.