St Andrews, Scotland: As the golf world converged on historic St Andrews for the playing of the 144th Open Championship, the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum enshrined its 2015 Induction Class at the University of St Andrews.
Bringing the total number of members to 150, the new members include Dame Laura Davies, David Graham, Mark O’Meara and AW Tillinghast.
For the first time, the Induction Ceremony, a biennial event, was staged outside of the United States and televised live on Golf Channel and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
“Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Laura, David, Mark and the family of the late AW,” said Jack Peter, Chief Operating Officer of the Hall of Fame.
“This class represents the global reach of the game and we are pleased to welcome them to the Hall of Fame family. This year’s ceremony was a significant step forward for the World Golf Hall of Fame as we continue to raise the institution’s global profile. We’re grateful for the support of our Board organisations and the University of St Andrews for making this a truly memorable and historic event.”
The 90-minute ceremony was attended by 21 Hall of Fame members including Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez, Tony Jacklin, Bernhard Langer, Peter Thomson and Sandy Lyle.
First to receive the Induction Crystal, golf’s highest honour, was Graham. The two-time Major winner was introduced by Hall of Fame global ambassador and friend Gary Player. During his acceptance speech, Graham became overcome with emotion reflecting on his days as an 11-year-old boy in Australia learning the game.
Davies, because of mechanical issues with her plane and other international travel logistics from Philadelphia, where she competed in the US Women’s Open, was unable to attend the ceremony. Former LPGA Commissioner Charlie Mechem introduced the British star and graciously accepted the honour on Davies’ behalf.
Following Davies, Tillinghast, the late golf course architect, was honoured with noted golf journalist John Hopkins on hand to accept the Induction Crystal on behalf of the family.
Last to take the stage was O’Meara. The boy from Southern California, delivered a memorable speech in which he recounted his career accomplishments and significant memories playing the game he loves.
The next Induction Ceremony will take place in 2017 at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St Augustine, Florida, which will be held the Monday of The Players Championship week. The Class of 2017 will be announced in 2016.
In 2019, the Induction Ceremony will move to Pebble Beach and be staged on the Monday of US Open week.
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