Peter Thomson

1955 / St Andrews

Even on the unpredictable terrain of a British links, Peter Thomson played such steady and resolute golf that it was no surprise that for seven years in a row he was either first or second. 

At St Andrews in 1955 the 25-year-old Australian successfully defended his title for the second of five victories. 

His final round of 72, after earlier scores of 71, 68 and 70, was not without a moment of anguish, however. 

At the 14th he found trouble in the Beardies and took a double-bogey seven. But unflustered as ever, Thomson birdied the next hole and won by two strokes from John Fallon. 

His total of 281 set a new record for an Open at St Andrews, beating Bobby Jones’s old mark from 1927 by four strokes.

Fallon had only previously finished high in an Open when he was third also at St Andrews in 1939. 

His 67 in the second round equalled the record for the Old Course. Frank Jowle, who finished third a shot behind Fallon, also set a new record but in qualifying, when he lowered the best score on the New Course by six strokes to 63.

Perennial challenger Bobby Locke was fourth but the much of the gallery followed the 43-year-old Byron Nelson, who finished tied for 32nd place, 15 strokes behind Thomson. 

Nelson had only previously played in The 1937 Open at Carnoustie, when he was fifth, but almost a decade after retiring from regular tournament play he was on a golfing vacation in Europe, during which he won the French Open.

Thomson’s prize of £1,000 was the first time a four-figure cheque was issued to the Champion and this was the first Open to be televised on the BBC, which broadcast parts of the final round.

Name
Finish
R1
R2
R3
R4
Total
Par
Peter THOMSON
1
71
68
70
72
281
-
John FALLON
2
73
67
73
70
283
-
Frank JOWLE
3
70
71
69
74
284
-
4
74
69
70
72
285
-
Bernard HUNT
5
70
71
74
71
286
-
Flory VAN DONCK
5
71
72
71
72
286
-
Ken BOUSFIELD
5
71
75
70
70
286
-
Antonio CERDA
5
73
71
71
71
286
-
Harry WEETMAN
5
71
71
70
74
286
-
Christy O'CONNOR SR
10
71
75
70
71
287
-
Romualdo BARBIERI
10
71
71
73
72
287
-
Eric BROWN
12
69
70
73
76
288
-
John JACOBS
12
71
70
71
76
288
-
12
75
72
70
71
288
-
W.J. HENDERSON
15
74
71
72
72
289
-
J.S. ANDERSON
15
71
72
77
69
289
-
A SOTO
17
72
73
72
73
290
-
D.F. SMALLDON
17
70
69
78
73
290
-
Ed FURGOL
19
71
76
72
73
292
-
Syd SCOTT
19
69
77
73
73
292
-
19
72
72
74
74
292
-
Robert HALSALL
22
71
74
76
72
293
-
Harry BRADSHAW
22
72
70
73
78
293
-
Reg HORNE
22
72
75
75
71
293
-
Joe CONRAD
22
72
76
74
71
293
-
William BRANCH
22
75
72
73
73
293
-
Hassan HASSANEIN
27
73
72
76
73
294
-
Norman SUTTON
27
71
74
75
74
294
-
Dai REES
27
69
79
73
73
294
-
John MCHALE
30
72
76
72
75
295
-
Jimmy MARTIN
30
70
72
79
74
295
-
Byron NELSON
32
72
75
78
71
296
-
Tom HALIBURTON
32
75
72
73
76
296
-
32
70
72
78
76
296
-
35
73
74
74
76
297
-
John BURTON
35
75
73
75
74
297
-
Bill SHANKLAND
37
73
74
77
74
298
-
Johnny BULLA
37
75
70
73
80
298
-
Carlos POTENTE
37
73
75
76
74
298
-
Brian WILKES
37
75
73
74
76
298
-
Ugo GRAPPASONNI
41
72
72
77
78
299
-
C. KANE
41
73
71
76
79
299
-
Ken BECKETT
41
74
74
76
75
299
-
George FARMER
44
73
73
79
75
300
-
Cecil DENNY
45
70
76
76
79
301
-
K.G. GEDDES
45
74
74
77
76
301
-
T.H.T. FAIRBAIRN
47
73
74
79
76
302
-
George HOWARD
48
73
74
79
78
304
-
A.M.M. BUCHER
49
72
74
85
80
311
-
Dave THOMAS
M/C
78
71
-
-
-
M/C
Ken ADWICK
M/C
75
74
-
-
-
M/C
Mario GONZALES
M/C
72
77
-
-
-
M/C
John PANTON
M/C
73
76
-
-
-
M/C
Charles LAWRIE
M/C
74
75
-
-
-
M/C
Laurie AYTON JR
M/C
73
76
-
-
-
M/C
Jimmy ADAMS
M/C
73
77
-
-
-
M/C
J.A. JACOBS
M/C
76
74
-
-
-
M/C
Walter LEES
M/C
74
76
-
-
-
M/C
Charlie WARD
M/C
77
73
-
-
-
M/C
Alfonso ANGELINI
M/C
79
71
-
-
-
M/C
Adina Test
M/C
76
75
-
-
-
M/C
Angel MIGUEL
M/C
77
74
-
-
-
M/C
Reg KNIGHT
M/C
72
79
-
-
-
M/C
Peter ALLISS
M/C
78
73
-
-
-
M/C
Ralph MOFFITT
M/C
76
75
-
-
-
M/C
D.L. ROBERTS
M/C
78
74
-
-
-
M/C
D.L. MELVILLE
M/C
80
72
-
-
-
M/C
Jimmy HITCHCOCK
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
B. SHELTON
M/C
77
75
-
-
-
M/C
Sebastian MIGUEL
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
Sam KING
M/C
75
77
-
-
-
M/C
Jack HARGREAVES
M/C
74
78
-
-
-
M/C
Joe CARR
M/C
76
77
-
-
-
M/C
Gregor MCINTOSH
M/C
77
76
-
-
-
M/C
Tony COOP
M/C
75
78
-
-
-
M/C
William MACDONALD
M/C
78
75
-
-
-
M/C
L. TOPPING
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Ernest KENYON
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
A.M. ROBERTSON
M/C
79
75
-
-
-
M/C
Arnold STICKLEY
M/C
77
77
-
-
-
M/C
Bert WILLIAMSON
M/C
74
80
-
-
-
M/C
Arthur LEES
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
Jack WILKSHIRE
M/C
76
78
-
-
-
M/C
W.C.A. HANCOCK
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
Stuart MURRAY
M/C
77
78
-
-
-
M/C
Peter GILL
M/C
78
77
-
-
-
M/C
Stewart MCDOWALL
M/C
81
74
-
-
-
M/C
M. FERGUSON
M/C
77
79
-
-
-
M/C
James WILSON
M/C
79
77
-
-
-
M/C
H.W. DAVIES
M/C
74
82
-
-
-
M/C
Roger MANDEVILLE
M/C
78
78
-
-
-
M/C
R.G. FRENCH
M/C
79
78
-
-
-
M/C
John ORR
M/C
80
77
-
-
-
M/C
Alexander ROBERTSON
M/C
77
82
-
-
-
M/C

Latest from the open