Peter William Thomson comes from Brunswick, Australia, which is a suburb of Melbourne, but not one of its more "residentially desirable" ones. He was born there in 1929, and the first loves of this curly-headed youngster were hunting, fishing and cricket. "Like every Australian boy, I hoped someday to play for my country in Test cricket," Thomson says. "A golfing career did not occur to me."
He first played golf at 12, sneaking onto the neighboring nine-hole Royal Park public course after the regulars had finished. Self-taught, he won his first tournament at 15, his first major victory (the Victorian Amateur) at 18. At 20 he abandoned a promising career as a chemist to turn pro, and victories in the New Zealand and Australian Opens followed quickly in 1950 and 1951. Today experts down under credit him with having Australia's "most calculating and incisive golf mind." Thomson joined the American pro circuit in 1952, a move which has netted him close to $40,000 in winnings.
That year the personable young Thomson married Lois Brauer, a pretty Australian brunette, and the two have been circling the globe ever since. The birth of daughter Deirdre two years ago didn't interrupt Thomson's travels, and Deirdre, who has already logged 50,000 miles, can one day say, trouper fashion, that she was raised in a golf bag.
The stockily built, 5-foot 9-inch 165-pounder will play in next month's rich Tarn O'Shanter World Championship at Niles, Illinois, and then head home to Australia, where he will hunt ducks while planning another swing across the world's links.