Ken Venturi will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in the class of 2013. Venturi is a 14-time winner on the PGA TOUR — including a victory at 1964 U.S. Open.
Venturi might be best-known for his decades-long stint at CBS as one of most iconic voices in televised golf. Venturi joins 2013 inductee Fred Couples, who was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame last month.
Want to congratulate Venturi? Write a note in the comments section below and we’ll share your thoughts with him.
By Opeyemi Akinbamidele, PGATOUR.COM
Ernie Els made history on Sunday when he won the British Open for the second time -- he became just the fourth player to win a major after being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Els joins Jack Nicklaus, who won six majors after his 1974 induction; Gary Player, who won two majors after his 1974 induction; and Lee Trevino, who won one major (the 1984 PGA Championship) after his 1981 induction.
The Hall of Fame is also updating all references to Els’ career; such as his bronze on the Wall of Champions in the Hall of Fame and his bio page on the WorldGolfHallofFame.org . Since Els' win, the World Golf Hall of Fame has been in contact with Els' representatives about some of the memorabilia from his Open win, which will be put on the museum floor as part of the History in the Making exhibit.
The best candidate for the next World Golf Hall of Famer to win a major? Four-time major winner Phil Mickelson, a 2012 inductee, is only 42. Even three-time major winner Vijay Singh, 49, a 2006 inductee, has several good years left.
For more about the World Golf Hall of Fame and the surrounding World Golf Village, click here.
The World Golf Hall of Fame has released the names of its 2013 candidates for the PGA TOUR ballot and the International ballot.
New candidates for the PGA TOUR ballot include David Duval and Steve Stricker. The new candidate for the International ballot is Padraig Harrington.
The full list of PGA TOUR candidates now includes: Miller Barber, Fred Couples, David Duval, Jim Furyk, Don January, Tony Lema, Davis Love III , Harold “Jug” McSpaden, Mark O’Meara, Loren Roberts, Macdonald Smith, Dave Stockton, Steve Stricker, Ken Venturi and Fuzzy Zoeller.
The full list of International candidates includes: Darren Clarke, Max Faulkner, Retief Goosen, Padraig Harrington, Miguel Angel Jimenez, Graham Marsh, Colin Montgomerie, Norman von Nida and Ian Woosnam.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know which candidates you would like to see in the 2013 Hall of Fame class.
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The tiny, wooden clubs Phil Mickelson was given when he was 18 months old and the Green Jacket that Sandy Lyle earned when he became the first Briton to win the Masters are just some of the items that will make up the Class of 2012 Inductee Exhibits at the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Here are some of the notable items in each one:
> An ABC broadcasters jacket and other memorabilia from his more than 50 years as a broadcaster at the BBC, ABC Sports and ESPN
> The bag he used as a player for Great Britain & Ireland in the 1957 Ryder Cup
> Rare photos from his adventures on the course with the likes of Sean Connery, Jack Lemmon and Seve Ballesteros
> The typewriter he used as a staff member of Sports Illustrated in the 1970s
> A personal letter from fellow Hall of Fame member Ben Hogan
> Press badges dating back to the 1960s from the more than 200 major championships he has covered in his career
> The kilt he wore after becoming the first Briton to win the Masters in 1988
> The 7-iron he used to hit his famous shot from the bunker on the 18th hole of that Masters, along with the putter he used to sink the final putt
> His bag and trophy as part of the victorious 1985 European Ryder Cup side
Said Lyle about his locker: “It's something that your grandchildren and your own sons can see.”
> The 6-iron he used to hit his legendary shot from behind the trees on No. 13 during his victory at the 2010 Masters
> The gold helmet trophy from the 1991 Northern Telecom Open, when he competed as an amateur and earned his first PGA TOUR win
> Trophies from each of his three Masters victories, the 2005 PGA Championship and the 2007 PLAYERS Championship
Said Mickelson about his locker: “I had fun picking some of the stuff out and being able to kind of look back on some of the victories and tournaments and accomplishments and so forth. “
> The medals she received after winning the U.S. Women’s Open in 1977, 1978 and 1984
> Metalwoods and wedges she used to earn the U.S. Women’s Open titles
> A proclamation from her native city of Savannah, Ga., celebrating her outstanding achievements
Said Stacy about her locker: “ I came from a very large family, from Savannah, Georgia, so it was wonderful to see my entire family in the exhibit, and to see the clubs that we played with back then. They weren't hickory shaft, but they were damn near close. “
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Doug Ford is 88 years old and he still can hit a driver 230 yards. More importantly for anyone who loves the game, he's sharp as a tack, and Ford entertained the media on Monday prior to his induction in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
"It's like waiting for an old girlfriend, I guess," Ford said of his selection in the veterans category. "You keep thinking, what did I do wrong? I thought I had some fairly good record, and you just hope that you get here. Of course it's an honor."
Ford, whose father was a golf pro, won 19 times on the PGA TOUR, including the 1955 PGA and 1957 Masters. He earned medalist honors at that PGA and went on to beat Cary Middlecoff 4 and 3 and then made up a three-stroke deficit on Sunday at Augusta National to beat Sam Snead by the same margin.
But some of Ford's most entertaining comments Monday afternoon centered around the big money games he played, particularly in the Miami area during the 18 months he was stationed there.
"We used to laugh, the course that we hung out at, that I used to play a lot, Miami Springs, had a big porch around the putting green like the putting green and the porch," Ford said. "All the hustlers used to hang out on there, and they would look for guys that didn't have a sunburn and they'd hustle that guy. It was an education."
Ford joined the PGA TOUR in 1950, making his debut at the Los Angeles Open at Riviera. In those days, only the top 15 finishers earned money. So Ford said he often won more cash on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday than he did after the tournament began.
"It's funny, the fellow I used to gamble a lot with was a fellow named Jerry Barber, and he was from California, and he was as stubborn as I was," Ford recalled. "He thought he could beat anybody. But he was my pigeon. I beat him for $6,000 one time, and I said to him, 'Jerry, you can't beat me.' He says, 'I'll keep trying. And I said, 'Well, I'll be very happy to accommodate you.'
"But his friends, when he first started, his friend says, what are you doing out there with all those guys? They're all great players. He said, 'You've got to go to the University Learn Something.' And he was right. He stuck there and he became a great player. But he was a stubborn little man."
Ford, who now splits his time between New Hampshire, where his son owns a golf course, and Florida, says he could win $300 to $400 in a day, which would get him to the next town. He has to chuckle when TV announcers talk about players standing over a 4-footer which will be worth $800,000 if he wins and $500,000 if he misses.
"I said, you should have played when I played when you'd have that length of putt for $100 to get to the next town,” Ford said. "That's pressure. But everybody's pressures are different."
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Ernie Els won't be the first pro to tee off in THE PLAYERS Championship as a Hall of Famer. But he will be the latest.
Els will be inducted in the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday night, and then on Thursday he'll make his 18th start in THE PLAYERS. He becomes the 16th player to appear in THE PLAYERS with “Hall of Fame” attached to his name.
Els said Monday during a pre-induction news conference that hitting his opening tee shot this week will be a bit more special than usual.
"It'll be a very special feeling to step on the first tee knowing you've made the Hall of Fame," Els said. "I'm still trying to win golf tournaments, still trying to win major championships, so I think it's a huge bonus for anybody's career."
Els won twice on the PGA TOUR last year, but he has struggled this season, having yet to post a top-10 finish in his first nine starts. A year ago at this time, he was ranked first in FedExCup points, a position he held through the remainder of the regular season. This year, he’s 98th in points.
He blames his woes on his putter; he currently ranks 187th on TOUR in Strokes Gained-Putting.
"I need a kick start, really," Els said. "I mean, I need to get going. I think I've got too involved with my putting, I think. I've always been a good putter, and for some reason there's been so many gremlins in my head this year with putting. I don't know if it's a midlife crisis or what it is on the golf course, but it kind of felt like that a little bit."
The South African said he's not too far away from getting his game back to what we're accustomed to seeing from the man who has 62 wins worldwide in his professional career. But his track record at TPC Sawgrass is not great -- he has just four top-10s in those 18 starts, and he missed the cut last year for just the third time in his PLAYERS career.
"My record is not great here, but so be it; I'll play as good as I can this week," Els said. "Then we've got great tournaments coming up. We've got the PGA in England, we've got Memorial, which is a great tournament, then we've got the U.S. Open at Congressional like '97, and then we go into the run-up for the Open Championship. So there's some great golf left.
"Very slow start to my season, but I feel like I've got a lot of ground to make up. But by the end of the summer, I'd like to be right in the mix again. That's my goal."
One goal, of course, he no longer has to worry about is making the Hall of Fame.
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- The World Golf Hall of Fame announced that Jim Nantz, Johann Rupert and Bob Goalby will be presenters at this year’s induction ceremony for the Class of 2011. NBC’s Dan Hicks, meanwhile, will serve as host of the annual induction ceremony on May 9.
Nantz, the play-by-play anchor of CBS's golf coverage, will be presenting former President George H.W. Bush. Nantz is a close friend of the Bush family. The former President is unable to attend the ceremony and will accept his induction in a pre-recorded video address.
It will be a busy night for Nantz, who will also present 2011 inductee Frank Chirkinian. Nantz got his start at CBS under the tutelage of Chirkinian, who became a mentor to him.
Ernie Els will be presented by his South African compatriot Rupert. As a long-time supporter and now current chairman of South Africa’s Sunshine Tour, Rupert has been able to watch Els rise from a star junior player to success on the world stage.
Bob Goalby, winner of 11 PGA TOUR events including the 1968 Masters, will be on hand to present fellow Masters champion Doug Ford.
Rounding out the Class of 2011, Jumbo Ozaki will remain in his native Japan for the ceremony. He and the late Jock Hutchison will be celebrated with video tributes.
“It is a privilege to have presenters and a host of this caliber at the 2011 induction ceremony,” said Jack Peter, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Hall of Fame. “We are eager to welcome the Class of 2011 to the World Golf Hall of Fame family. The induction ceremony is a signature event on golf’s world calendar and we’re very much looking forward to our new date and kicking off a great week of golf and THE PLAYERS Championship.”
The 2011 induction ceremony will be held at the St. Johns County Convention Center, located adjacent to the World Golf Hall of Fame at World Golf Village. The post-event gala will be inside the Hall of Fame.
Overnight packages and Ceremony & Gala tickets are available now. A limited number of complimentary general admission tickets to the induction ceremony only will be available to the public (two per person) beginning April 1 while supplies last. For tickets and more information about the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum, please visit WorldGolfHallofFame.org.