MORE than a 1000 people attended the memorial service for the late, great Peter Thomson last week and we were a bit disappointed at being unable to get down to attend what by all accounts was a very moving and fitting final farewell.
The Victorian Government had offered the Thomson family a full state funeral to mark the passing of one of Australia’s greatest ever golfers but they opted for something a little less formal in the MCG dining room in Melbourne.
Fortunately Golf Australia has posted a full video of the service and it is well worth a look by anyone interested not only in Peter Thomson the golfer, but in Peter Thomson the man.
As Peter Senior, speaking on behalf of the PGA (pictured above), tells the assembled audience, everyone has a Peter Thomson story.
His own involved a time early in his career when he was playing in The Open Championship at St Andrews and Thomson – the five time champion – was at the course as a commentator.
Senior says he was practicing earlier in the week but on the 14th kept finding himself in the three deep bunkers on the left hand side of the course.
He had tried three or four shots with different clubs when he was surprised to see Thomson suddenly standing above him. Thomson said he’d come over to investigate because he’d seen lots of sand coming out of the bunker but no balls.
Senior recounted he asked Thomson if he had a special “trick” or method of getting out of the bunkers there.
“I don’t know,” the champ replied before walking away, “I’ve never been in any.”
Thomson’s son Andrew told the gathering his dad had never lost his dry wit. “As many would know, Dad played 30 Opens in his lifetime,” Andrew commented. “He lost 25 times! That’s the way he’d put it.”