Laura and Tillie Make WGHOF
By Torleif Sorenson on 10/15/14
Earlier this morning, the World Golf Hall of Fame announced their 2015 inductees. Topping the list are four-time major champion Dame Laura Davies DBE and legendary architect A.W. Tillinghast. Also making the cut are Australian two-time major champion David Graham and American two-time major champion Mark O'Meara.
This is the first WGHOF class to be elected by the new Selection Commission, which was chosen following a firestorm of criticism over the original selection process in October of 2013, when Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie were inducted. The new rules require a nominee to pass 75 percent voting threshold — meaning the nominee is approved by at least 12 of the 16 committee members.
The new selection board is co-chaired by Hall of Fame members Nancy Lopez, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, and Annika Sörenstam. Other members include the WGHOF board of directors and a variety of people from various tours and organizations that includes PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem.
The induction ceremony will take place on July 13, 2015 at the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland.
Laura DaviesThis should have been an easy choice in years past, but at least the Englishwoman is finally getting her due recognition. Davies won four major championships between 1987 and 1996, and has a total of 84 professional victories. Since turning professional in 1985, Davies has won 20 times on the LPGA Tour, 45 times on the Ladies European Tour, six times on the Japan LPGA Tour, and twice on the Ladies Asian Golf Tour. She is also a 12-time Solheim Cup Team Europe member and was on the winning side in 1992, 2000, 2003, and 2011.
A.W. TillinghastOne of the most important early masters of architecture, Albert Warren Tillinghast (1874-1942) designed some 265 courses, many of which remain highly-esteemed and/or have hosted major professional and amateur championships. Many of his courses are on the east coast of the United States — include 16 in Westchester County, New York alone. An entire article in Wikipedia covers that list, which would be way too long to reproduce here. Suffice to say, Tillinghast is a giant among golf architects and it is very surprising that he was inducted after Willie Park, Jr.
David GrahamThis Australian captured the 1979 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills in a dramatic playoff over Ben Crenshaw, then won the 1981 U.S. Open at Merion with a three-shot cushion. Worldwide, Graham has 38 professional victories and became only the fourth Australian to win a men's professional major (Jim Ferrier, Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle). He was awarded the Order of Australia in 1988.
Mark O'MearaAs with David Graham, Mark O'Meara has over 30 victories worldwide (34, to be exact) that include the 1998 Masters and the 1998 Open Championship at age 41. His four total victories that year propelled him to second-place on the OWGR at one point.
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