Dave Thomas was a pro golfer in Europe whose best successes came in the 1950s and 1960s, including near-misses at the British Open.
Full name: David Charles Thomas
Date and place of birth: Aug. 16, 1934, in Newcastle, England
Date and place of death: Aug. 27, 2013, in Spain
1955 Belgian Open
1958 Dutch Open
1959 French Open
1961 Esso Golden Tournament
1962 Esso Golden Tournament
1963 News of the World Match Play
1966 Esso Golden Tournament
1966 Swallow-Penfold Tournament
1968 Penfold Tournament
Thomas is credited with approximately 16 career wins on the professional circuits in Europe (14) and Australasia (2) that pre-dated the formation of the European Tour.
In the Majors
Dave Thomas never won a major championship, but had four Top 10 finishes at the British Open, three of which were Top 5, two of which were runner-up.
Notable Notes: Dave Thomas is probably best remembered on the golf course for being a great driver of the golf ball - long and straight - and for two near-misses at the British Open. At the 1958 British Open, Thomas lost a 36-hole playoff to Peter Thomson. Thomson won that playoff by four strokes, 139 to 143. And at the 1966 British Open, Thomas was runner-up to Jack Nicklaus in Nicklaus' first Open victory, losing by one shot.
As for Thomas' prowess with the driver, his friend Peter Alliss described him as "for a spell perhaps the longest straight driver in the world." Thomas once blasted a 420-yard drive at a tournament in England in 1967.
Born in England and died in Spain, Thomas was actually Welsh. He represented Wales 11 times in the World Cup. ... He also represented Great Britain four times in the Ryder Cup (1959, 1963, 1965, 1967).
Thomas turned pro in 1949. ... His pro career ended when he began suffering arthritis. ... He was elected to the Welsh Sports Hall of Fame in 2002. ... Once his playing days ended, Thomas turned to golf course design, sometimes partnering with Alliss, and designed approximately 150 golf courses in Britain, continental Europe and Asia.