Thomas awarded tour honour

  • Last Updated: February 18 2013, 12:14 GMT

Welshman Dave Thomas, twice runner-up in the Open Championship and a renowned course designer, has been awarded honorary life membership of the European Tour.

The 10th hole at The Belfry, co-designed by Thomas
The 10th hole at The Belfry, co-designed by Thomas

Now 78, the Newcastle-born Thomas tied with Australian Peter Thomson at Royal Lytham in 1958 before losing in a 36-hole play-off and eight years later at Muirfield was joint second behind Jack Nicklaus.

He played in four Ryder Cups between 1959 and 1967 and represented Wales 11 times in the World Cup of Golf before arthritis ended his playing career.

Co-designer of The Belfry with Peter Alliss, Thomas was also captain of the Professional Golfers Association during its centenary year in 2001 and five years later was made an honorary life member of the PGA.

European Tour executive director George O'Grady said: "It has been remiss of us not to have presented this award a long time ago, but today we are righting that wrong.

"We have recently honoured Tommy Horton, Brian Huggett and Peter Alliss and Dave is in that league in helping build the game in Britain and all over the world."

Thomas said: "I have very fond memories of my playing career, but by 1969 my back had gone and it was time to do something else and what do you do?

"Someone suggested some design and architecture. Peter Alliss was involved and we became designers. Who would have thought all these years on I would be close to designing 150 courses?

"I have seen how the game has grown, how the European Tour has developed and it has been wonderful to have been part of it all for the last 60 years. I am honoured to receive this award."


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