OUR STORY: 1947 – 1956

The Kiwis and Aussies shared the spoils during the 1931 – 1946 period.

OUR STORY 4 of 10: 1947 – 1956

The 10 tournaments between 1947 and 1956 were split evenly between Trans-Tasman neighbours New Zealand and Australia, both picking up five wins apiece.

Australian Peter Thomson won four tournaments (1950, 1951, 1953 & 1955) while Harry Berwick picked up the fifth Australian win as an amateur in Christchurch. Thomson would go on to win another five titles (1959, 1960, 1961, 1965 & 1971) and still holds the record for the most New Zealand Open victories at nine.

Bob Glading and Alex Murray lead the charge for the Kiwis with Glading claiming his second title, this time as a professional, in 1947 with a three-stroke victory. Murray picked up the 1948 and 1952 titles, his second and third New Zealand Open crowns, and Jim Galloway had a narrow one-stroke victory over Glading and amateur L B Johnston in 1949.
This period also saw the introduction of a young 18-year-old Kiwi who would go on to be one of the game’s greats.

Sir Bob Charles won his first New Zealand Open title as an Amateur in 1954 with a two-stroke victory over Australian Bruce Cramption in Wellington. Charles would go on to win 78 times as a professional including six times on the PGA Tour, four times on the European Tour as well as capturing the New Zealand Open three more times. He also holds the record for being the oldest player to make the cut on the European Tour at the New Zealand Open in 2017 at the age of 71.

The lowest winning score in this period was 280, recorded by both Peter Thomson (twice) and Sir Bob Charles, while the highest winning total was also set by Peter Thomson with a 295 in 1953 at Otago. Thompson also claimed the highest winning margin with his ten-stroke win in 1955.

Year Champion Nationality Course Score Winning Margin Runner Up
1947 Bob Glading New Zealand New Plymouth 291 3 strokes Alex Murray
1948 Alex Murray New Zealand Otago 294 1 stroke Bryan Silk (a)
1949 Jim Galloway New Zealand Hastings 283 1 stroke Bob Glading
LB Johnston (a)
1950 Peter Thomson Australia Christchurch 280 9 strokes Alf Guy
1951 Peter Thomson Australia Titirangi 288 4 strokes Frank Buckler
Tim Woon (a)
1952 Alex Murray New Zealand Wanganui 293 1 stroke Harry Berwick (a)
1953 Peter Thomson Australia Otago 295 5 strokes Frank Buckler
1954 Sir Bob Charles(a) New Zealand Wellington 280 2 strokes Bruce Crampton
1955 Peter Thomson Australia Auckland 280 10 strokes Kel Nagle
1956 Harry Berwick (a) Australia Christchurch 295 2 strokes Sir Bob Charles

Read the previous articles: Our Story: 1907 – 1920 | Our Story: 1921 – 1930 | Our Story: 1931 – 1946

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