Peter Thomson

1954 / Royal Birkdale

Peter Thomson became the first Australian to win The Open at Royal Birkdale in 1954 to begin his dominant run at golf's oldest major.

Jim Ferrier, at the 1947 PGA Championship, was the only other Australian-born player to win a major at the time. 

Thomson simply dominated The Open – he was sixth on debut in 1951 and then was a runner-up for the next two years. His victory at Birkdale was the first of three in a row and five in all.

The Southport course had been brought up to Open standard in 1935 and was due to host The Open in 1940, which was cancelled due to the war. It finally made its debut 14 years later.

Ben Hogan did not travel back to Britain to defend his title but with a round to play, three-time Champion Golfer Bobby Locke was two strokes behind the trio of Thomson, after rounds of 72, 71 and 69, Syd Scott and Dai Rees.

Scott, from what is now Cumbria, set a new course record of 67 in the second round and closed with a 72 to set the target at 284. 

Rees could not get up and down at the last so also had a 72, the second of three runner-up finishes for the Welshman.

Thomson found himself on the steep slope of a bunker at the 16th, 25 yards from the flag. With his feet together in an awkward stance, and his eyes closed, he thumped the ball high in the air and it stuck virtually where it landed, just inches from the hole. 

“That won it for me, no doubt,” he said. “Had I made a mess of that one, I’d have been a goner.” 

The 24-year-old was also in a bunker at the last but a 71 put him one ahead on 283. Locke managed a 70 but could only join the other runners-up.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Peter THOMSON
1
72
71
69
71
283
-
Dai REES
2
72
71
69
72
284
-
2
74
71
69
70
284
-
Syd SCOTT
2
76
67
69
72
284
-
Jimmy ADAMS
5
73
75
69
69
286
-
Jim TURNESA
5
72
72
71
71
286
-
Antonio CERDA
5
71
71
73
71
286
-
Peter ALLISS
8
72
74
71
70
287
-
Sam KING
8
69
74
74
70
287
-
Flory VAN DONCK
10
77
71
70
71
289
-
Jimmy DEMARET
10
73
71
74
71
289
-
Alfonso ANGELINI
12
76
70
73
71
290
-
Thomas SPENCE
12
69
72
74
75
290
-
Harry BRADSHAW
12
72
72
73
73
290
-
Robert HALSALL
15
72
73
73
73
291
-
Peter TOOGOOD
15
72
75
73
71
291
-
Ugo GRAPPASONNI
17
72
75
74
71
292
-
17
75
74
73
70
292
-
C. KANE
17
74
72
74
72
292
-
L. TOPPING
20
75
76
69
73
293
-
Jack HARGREAVES
20
77
72
77
67
293
-
John JACOBS
20
71
73
80
69
293
-
20
73
78
69
73
293
-
Christy O'CONNOR SR
20
74
72
72
75
293
-
Adina Test
20
72
75
73
73
293
-
Norman DREW
20
76
71
74
72
293
-
Bert WILLIAMSON
27
76
73
75
70
294
-
Norman SUTTON
27
70
80
72
72
294
-
Jimmy HITCHCOCK
29
73
72
76
74
295
-
B. SHELTON
29
74
77
71
73
295
-
Frank STRANAHAN
29
73
75
71
76
295
-
T. TRAVENA
32
75
74
75
72
296
-
Jean GARAIALDE
32
76
73
72
75
296
-
Peter MILLS
32
73
76
70
77
296
-
William BRANCH
35
73
78
71
75
297
-
35
74
72
74
77
297
-
Norman VON NIDA
35
76
74
74
73
297
-
Enrique BERTOLINO
38
74
76
74
74
298
-
Jean-Baptiste ADO
38
72
78
76
72
298
-
Aldo CASERA
38
75
73
72
78
298
-
Bill SHANKLAND
41
72
72
79
76
299
-
W.J. HENDERSON
42
74
72
76
78
300
-
Al WATROUS
42
76
72
74
78
300
-
Cecil DENNY
44
74
77
79
71
301
-
George HOWARD
45
71
77
74
80
302
-
R.G. FRENCH
45
75
75
77
75
302
-
Fred BULLOCK
47
72
77
77
78
304
-
Frank JOWLE
47
80
70
79
75
304
-
Hector THOMSON
47
76
75
74
79
304
-
Roger MANDEVILLE
47
74
73
78
79
304
-
James H. BUSSON JR
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
A.R. TIMMS
M/C
80
72
-
-
-
M/C
Brian STOCKDALE
M/C
76
76
-
-
-
M/C
Charlie WARD
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
John PANTON
M/C
80
72
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
T.H.T. FAIRBAIRN
M/C
76
76
-
-
-
M/C
Harry WEETMAN
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
W.C.A. HANCOCK
M/C
76
76
-
-
-
M/C
T. HASSALL
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
Walter LEES
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
M/C
77
76
-
-
-
M/C
Tom HALIBURTON
M/C
79
74
-
-
-
M/C
Doug BACHLI
M/C
79
74
-
-
-
M/C
S.M. FERGUSON
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
Toney PENNA
M/C
76
77
-
-
-
M/C
Laurie AYTON JR
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
Eddie LARGE
M/C
81
72
-
-
-
M/C
Roger BREWS
M/C
77
77
-
-
-
M/C
W. SHEPHARD
M/C
75
79
-
-
-
M/C
J. COOGAN
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Eddie WHITCOMBE
M/C
80
74
-
-
-
M/C
G.A. MAISEY
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Sam BACON
M/C
80
75
-
-
-
M/C
Norman QUIGLEY
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
Bernard HUNT
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
Cherif El SAYED
M/C
82
73
-
-
-
M/C
Peter BUTLER
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
J. WROE
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
A.W. KIRKBY
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
J. SHANKS
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
A.J. HARMAN
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
Harold BOSWARD
M/C
78
79
-
-
-
M/C
Guy WOLSTENHOLME
M/C
78
79
-
-
-
M/C
J.R. MOSES
M/C
81
77
-
-
-
M/C
T. GARDNER
M/C
80
78
-
-
-
M/C
John BURTON
M/C
76
82
-
-
-
M/C
P. HEARD
M/C
82
76
-
-
-
M/C
K.F. DODSWORTH
M/C
84
74
-
-
-
M/C
J.A. JACOBS
M/C
81
78
-
-
-
M/C
Ken ADWICK
M/C
79
80
-
-
-
M/C
R.L. GARNER
M/C
84
75
-
-
-
M/C
J.H. BROOKS
M/C
81
79
-
-
-
M/C
T.A. HARRISON
M/C
78
84
-
-
-
M/C
John MCGONIGLE
M/C
81
81
-
-
-
M/C
R.F. STEVENS
M/C
87
78
-
-
-
M/C
Dan O'BRIEN
NR
81
-
-
-
-
M/C

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