Palmer, Thomson and Devlin delight Australian Open crowd
BY Bruce Young | Australasian PGA Tour | 2004 Australian Open | General | 24 Nov 2004
The golf might not have been to the high standard we can expect tomorrow but when around 1500 people took to the fairways of the Australian Golf Club today they knew they were viewing something very special.
When Arnold Palmer (75), Peter Thomson (75) and Bruce Devlin (67) set off to play a nine hole exhibition match, most in the gallery would have known that this was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. Palmer with seven majors, Thomson with five and Devlin a winner of the Australian Open and many other titles around the world, delighted the crowd with not only some fine golf for players of their age, but with a lot of interaction also.
For the record Thomson and Devlin were around in 39 on the par 35 front nine and Palmer 40, but it hardly mattered as the charismatic Palmer thrilled those who had made the journey to the Australian Golf Club. Palmer’s presence is hard to ignore. He is not only a warm and engaging man, but a true gentleman, not to mention his role in making the game what it is today. It would be not inappropriate for those who earn a cheque this week to donate a percentage to the man who played such a large role in those same players playing for the level of prizemoney they are in 2004.
When asked earlier in the day why he had decided to come to Australia, Palmer said “I have not been here for many years and I did not want to leave this world without coming back here. I was at the 250th anniversary of the R&A this year, the 100th anniversary of the Canadian Open and so it was only appropriate that I also came here.”
Palmer also said that he wanted to bring the lady in his life here to experience Australia for the first time.
The emphasis on Palmer here is not intended to overlook the efforts of both Devlin, who has played little golf in recent years and Thomson, who at the age of 75 was still able to fashion some fine shot making.
It was a memory that all who had the chance to see will treasure, and in years to come they will feel blessed that they were amongst those to took the opportunity.