Well, Peter Thomson, 5 time Open Champion, has died, to the sniffles of the Golf writers. Sorry, I can't join in. One of the most overrated Golfers of all time - Thomson is remembered for winning the British Open 4 times between 1954-1958. A pretty impressive record until you realize that American Golf Pros avoided the British Open between 1946-1959 and 1st prize was $2,000. Once Palmer in 1960, and Nicklaus in 1962, started showing up, Thomson only won one more British Open - in 1965.
His record in the USA was terrible. Two top-ten finishes in US Open, Masters and PGA in 9 tries. And when he played PGA tour he could only win one tournament. The "Texas Open."
And He was a Wanker
So, that takes care of the "overrated" part. What about being a wanker?
Well, that's easy. Y'see, Thomson was full of sour grapes. He couldn't win in the USA, so he dismissed American golf as "target golf" - only the Links courses were "real tests of skill". And then when he stopped winning - anywhere - he started wanking on about how "What do sports matter in the big scheme of things?" The apex of this came in 1969 when he missed the cut at "The Masters" and told the press that he couldn't concentrate on golf because "What did it matter when the Vietnam War was going on?" Sportswriters love this kind of gamma nonsense.
Thomson - The Intellectual & Internationalist
In the State of the Game podcast, the sportswriters talk in awe about how Peter Thomson turned down an invitation to play in Masters in order to play in the Indian Open. Because "Peter Thomson knew growing the game in India was more important than the Masters".
LoL! Thomson would've done NOTHING in Masters, probably would've missed cut. And he was a big nobody in the USA. On the other hand, in the India Open he was - the center of attention - "the big man" who won 5 British Opens.
But Thomson was considered an "intellectual" in the Golf World. Which means, he read the London Times & New York Times, and had all the fashionable "chattering class" opinions.
Thomson's comments on Hogan and Snead are illustrative of his personality. He had nothing good to say about Hogan. He wrote off "the little wee ice man" as a neanderthal, who had nothing of interest to say. Meanwhile, he had nothing but praise for Sam Snead. Why? Well simple, Hogan didn't talk to Thomson in 1953, just like he had nothing to say to most of his golf partners. He was engrossed in the game. Accordingly, Thomson bad-mouthed him for the rest of his life. Meanwhile, Snead went out of his way to befriend Thomson during his time on the PGA tour in 1956. So, Thomson wrote about how "smart" and "wonderful" Sam Snead was.