Ozaki joins 2011 class of World Golf Hall of Fame

October 06, 2010
PGA TOUR staff

TOKYO -- The World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum will induct Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki on May 9, 2011 at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. Ozaki joins the Class of 2011 which includes South Africa native Ernie Els, Americans Doug Ford and former U.S. President George H.W. Bush and Scotland's late Jock Hutchison.

Ozaki was elected through the World Golf Hall of Fame's International Ballot.

Jack Peter, chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame and Museum, who was at Wednesday's announcement in Tokyo, said: "Jumbo Ozaki is most deserving of this honor as his long and impressive career shines brightly for golf in Japan and around the world. We look forward to sharing his story in the Hall of Fame and Museum for years to come."

Ozaki will become the fourth World Golf Hall of Fame member from Japan, joining Hisako "Chako" Higuchi (2003 Inductee), Isao Aoki (2004 Inductee) and Ayako Okamoto (2005 Inductee).

"I am very happy, very honored and appreciate everyone who has supported me since I turned pro in 1970 ... but to be honest, I feel I am still an active player and I want to keep competing on the Tour," said Ozaki. "The emergence of players like Ryo Ishikawa force me to keep my game sharp. I am delighted to join the other legends of the Hall. My only regret is not playing more outside of Japan, but I dedicated my life to Japanese golf and am extremely grateful the voters thought I was worthy of this honor."

Born in Tokushima, Ozaki has more than 100 wins in Japan and was the leading money winner on the Japan Golf Tour 12 times since 1973. His career includes competition in more than 40 major championships, which included top-10 showings in the Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship. He has won six Japan PGA Championships and five Japan Opens.

Ozaki received 50 percent of the votes on the International Ballot. Els was elected through the PGA TOUR Ballot. Ford and Hutchison were Veterans Category selections and President Bush was the Lifetime Achievement selection.

In addition to the celebration of Ozaki's career at the 2011 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in St. Augustine, Fla. the Hall of Fame & Museum will recognize and honor his accomplishments among other greats of the game year-round.

Class of 2011 International Ballot Results
Candidate Percentage of Votes
Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki 50 percent
Sandy Lyle 45 percent
Colin Montgomerie 29 percent
Peter Alliss 26 percent
Ian Woosnam 24 percent
Graham Marsh 21 percent
Retief Goosen 20 percent
Norman Von Nida 16 percent
Darren Clarke 6 percent
Max Faulkner 8 percent

Ozaki will have a special inductee display of artifacts and photos, a bronze relief plaque on the Hall of Fame's "Wall of Fame," a locker in the "Member Locker Room" exhibition and his autograph etched in granite outside the Hall of Fame & Museum. His name will be added to the Japanese flag which, among 15 other countries, flies outside the Hall of Fame & Museum year-round.