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Golfing great inducted into VU's Sport Hall of Fame

Peter Thomson, one of Australia's most successful golfers with more than 80 professional wins, has been inducted into Victoria University's Sport Hall of Fame.

The 81-year-old grew up in Brunswick, only a minute's walk from the Royal Park Golf Course where his talent was first recognised. He completed a Diploma of Applied Chemistry in 1945 at nearby Footscray Technical School, VU's predecessor institution, working for a short time as an industrial chemist.

By the time he was 20, he was playing professionally.  Between 1954 and 1965, Thomson won the British Open five times against a field of the world's best players including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.  He also won 26 championships in Europe, 19 in Australia and 11 in Asia.    

In 1965 he took up golf course design, and helped design several courses in Australia. For several years, Thomson was club professional at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club. He is also an avid golf writer, and has contributed to The Age's golf pages for more than 50 years. Thomson served as president of the Australian Professional Golfers Association from 1962 to 1994, and was admitted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1988.

In the 1980s, Thomson enjoyed a successful senior career, winning the US Senior PGA Tour nine times and his final tournament victory, the British Seniors PGA in 1988. He was non-playing captain of Australia's victorious international team in the 1998 President's Cup.

He has been recognised for his services to golf by both the United Kingdom and Australia, being named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), and an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO).

Thomson, who now resides in Toorak, received an honorary degree from VU in 2006, and is one of the University's 90 Legends.

He is the eighth person to be inducted into VU's Sport Hall of Fame, joining other world-class athletes including basketballer Andrew Gaze (2002); rower Mike McKay (2003); and sailor, and recently resigned Western Bulldogs CEO, Campbell Rose (2006).

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