87th Open - Royal Lytham & St Annes 1958
Fourth title for Thomson
Peter Thomson won for the fourth time in five years at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1958 but only after a play-off against young Welshman Dave Thomas. The pair had tied on a new record total of 278, one better than the score twice posted by Bobby Locke. Together Thomson and Locke had won eight times in the last ten years, only Max Faulkner and Ben Hogan interrupting the sequence, and the previous year Locke had ended the Australian’s three-year winning streak. This was to be the final Championship in Thomson’s incredible run of seven years where he was either first or second in The Open.
He opened with a 66 to lead the way but was overtaken by Christy O’Connor Snr at halfway. Thomson regained the lead with a 67 in the third round but Thomas made up the two-stroke deficit with a closing 71 to Thomson’s 73. There was much drama at the 18th hole. In front of a huge gallery eager to see a young British player topple the Australian maestro, Thomas’s putt from 45 feet just missed, while Thomson’s putt for victory from 12 never looked like going in.
Earlier, Argentina’s Leopoldo Ruiz took a 7 at the last and finished three behind, alongside Flory van Donck in fifth place, while Eric Brown and O’Connor both bunkered their tee shots at the last, costing a 6 and a 5 respectively which meant they both missed out by one stroke. It was the second year running that Edinburgh-born Brown was third in The Open, he and Ruiz both compiling 65s earlier in the Championship.
Thomson led Thomas 68-69 after the first round of the play-off and his experience told in the afternoon as he pulled away to win by four strokes, 139-143. Thomas was also a runner-up at Muirfield in 1966.
|3||Christy O'CONNOR SR||IRL||67||68||73||71||279|
|5||Flory VAN DONCK||BEL||70||70||67||74||281|