Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mickelson a candidate for World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2012?

Three-time major winner Ernie Els, former President George H. W. Bush, 19-time PGA Tour victor Doug Ford, Japan’s Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, the late Frank Chirkinian and the late Jock Hutchison were inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2011 in St. Augustine, Florida yesterday.

WGHF Chief Operating Officer Jack Peter said, "The Class of 2011 comes from South Africa, Japan, the United States and Scotland. The global nature of this wonderful Class embodies so much of what the World Golf Hall of Fame stands for. We are thrilled to welcome all of them into the Hall of Fame family."


World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2011
 World Golf Hall of Fame inductees: Class of 2011

The World Golf Hall of Fame honors golf's greatest players and contributors. Criteria for induction indicates an  honorary must be forty-years old, must be a PGA Tour player (on the PGA Tour ballot) for ten years and have either ten Tour wins, two majors or two Players Championships to be considered. 

Perhaps Phil Mickelson needs another Players Championship win under his belt before being added to the ballot?

Ernie Els was interestingly enough inducted through the PGA Tour ballot and has won more than sixty golf tournaments worldwide. He has been a fixture on the PGA Tour, the European Tour and on six Presidents Cup teams.

“I can think of no more worthy candidate than Ernie to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame,” said George O’Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, speaking as Chairman of the World Golf Foundation. “He joins two South African legends of the game in Bobby Locke and Gary Player, which is testament to his immense ability, his superb achievements and the wonderful example he has set to all in the field of golf and, indeed, the world of sports.”

President Bush will become the second president inducted in the Hall of Fame, inducted through the Lifetime Achievement Category. CBS lead golf broadcaster Jim Nantz presented while the former President accepted his Induction in a pre-recorded address. Bush is the original Honorary Chairman of The First Tee and the Presidents Cup, as well as the recipient of the 1997 PGA of America Distinguished Service Award and the 2008 Bob Jones Award.

The late Frank Chirkinian is known throughout golf and broadcasting circles as “the father of televised golf.” From 1959-1996, Chirkinian was the executive producer for golf on CBS and led its Masters coverage. Chirkinian, who was inducted through the Lifetime Achievement Category, is responsible for myriad innovations, including the installation of a camera on a blimp and adding microphones to tee boxes.


The late Jock Hutchison was inducted through the Veterans Category. Hutchison combined with Jim Barnes and Walter Hagen to form the “American Triumvirate” during the 1910s and 20s. Hutchison is perhaps most famous for becoming the first U.S.-based player to win the Open Championship in 1921.


Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki, a Japanese legend who has won more than 100 times worldwide, was inducted through the International ballot. Ozaki led the Japan Golf Tour money list twelve times but could not make the Ceremony due to back issues and the recent events in Japan.


Each Inductee has donated memorabilia from their standout career, which has been built into special Inductee exhibits at the Hall of Fame. Each Inductee will receive a case in Shell Hall and a permanent space in the Member Locker Room. The exhibits will be open to the public on May 10.


What can Mickelson donate if he becomes an inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame 2012?
Perhaps a Masters flag, one of his three green jackets or maybe even one of his trusty putters?


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