ATLANTA -- The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum will enshrine 15-time PGA TOUR winner Fred Couples as the first member of the Class of 2013. PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem made the announcement that Couples was elected through the PGA TOUR Ballot at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Couples will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at its Induction Ceremony on Monday, May 6, 2013, at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. The Ceremony will once again kick off THE PLAYERS Championship week.
It will be fitting for Couples, who won the 1984 and 1996 PLAYERS Championships.
"Fred Couples is one of those unique players whose talent and accomplishments are Hall-of-Fame caliber, as are his personality and popularity," said Finchem. "He has been a fan favorite for decades, thanks to not only his significant achievements on the golf course, but also because of his relatable, friendly demeanor that has connected him to fans around the world. Congratulations to Fred on this incredible honor."
|Hall of Fame voting results|
Couples is one of the game's most popular players and is revered for his picturesque golf swing. It carried him to the top of the game, when he won the 1992 Masters Tournament. That major championship victory also made him the first American player to reach No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He dominated in the early 1990s, winning PGA TOUR Player of the Year and the Vardon Trophy in 1991 and 1992.
He is also a fixture for the United States in team competitions. He played on five Ryder Cup teams, helping the Americans to victories in 1991 and 1993. Couples will also take part in next week's Ryder Cup competition at Medinah Country Club, where he will be an assistant captain for the U.S. Team.
Couples has also been a large part of the American success at The Presidents Cup. He played on four U.S. Teams, with three emerging victorious. He also captained the winning U.S. Presidents Cup teams in 2009 and 2011 and will once again lead the Americans at the 2013 Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village, where he will attempt to become the first captain to post a 3-0 record (Jack Nicklaus was 2-1-1).
Couples has won five times internationally, and since turning 50 in 2009, he has won eight times on the Champions Tour, including major championships at the 2011 Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship and the 2012 Senior Open Championship.
"I am honored by my selection to the World Golf Hall of Fame," Couples said. "It is humbling to have received the votes and to be included in a group of such legendary players. I am looking forward to the Induction Ceremony next May during THE PLAYERS Championship week. I am excited to have a place in the Hall of Fame with so many great players with whom I have competed and that I admire."
The Hall of Fame will round out the Class of 2013 by announcing inductees from the International Ballot and Veterans and Lifetime Achievement categories in the coming months.
"We are thrilled to welcome Fred into the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum," said Hall of Fame Chief Operating Officer Jack Peter. "He has a unique connection to fans and is one of the game's most beloved figures. We are excited to showcase his wonderful career at the 2013 Induction Ceremony and within the Hall of Fame."
Tickets and travel packages to the 2013 Induction Ceremony will be available on Nov. 1, 2012. For information on the Induction Ceremony and the World Golf Hall of Fame, visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org.