World Golf Hall of Fame lowers minimum age for enshrinement
Woods, Duval and Harrington among those who could be affected
January 21, 2020
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- January 21, 2020
- The minimum age to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame has been lowered from 50 to 45. (Marc Serota/Getty Images)
Tiger Woods could be going into the World Golf Hall of Fame earlier than previously thought.
Among other changes initiated by the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors, the minimum age for a male or female competitor has been lowered from 50 to 45 or three years retired from the game. A player will be eligible for induction provided he or she turns 45 the year of the induction ceremony, which means 82-time PGA TOUR winner Woods, who will go for a record 83rd victory at the Farmers Insurance Open this week, will be eligible for the next WGHOF class in 2021 . Additional changes include elimination of the Veterans category and replacing “Lifetime Achievement” recognition with “Contributor.”
Other PGA TOUR players who could be affected by the lowering of the minimum age include 48-year-olds Padraig Harrington, a six-time TOUR winner who collected three majors, and David Duval, a 13-time winner whose victories included The Open Championship and THE PLAYERS Championship. Despite being just shy of 50, both would be eligible for the 2021 WGHOF class alongside Woods.
Jim Furyk, who among his 17 TOUR wins captured the 2003 U.S. Open and 2010 TOUR Championship (and FedExCup), will turn 50 on May 12 and already would have been eligible for 2021.
“Recognizing the game’s greatest players and contributors is an important endeavor and one our sport takes very seriously,” said World Golf Foundation Board Chairman and PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “We are committed to regularly evaluating the selection process to ensure we approach it with both historical context and the future in mind. I believe these changes benefit the Hall of Fame Members, fans across the world and the institution.”
Players like Ernie Els and Phil Mickelson got into the WGHOF in their 40s, before the minimum age was raised to 50. Now that it’s been lowered again, it reintroduces players who are still highly competitive on the PGA TOUR as potential inductees. Woods, who is 18th in the FedExCup after capturing the inaugural ZOZO Championship in Japan last fall, is clearly chief among them.
Zach Johnson, 43 and a 12-time TOUR winner with two majors to his name, is also among those who eventually could be impacted by the lowering of the minimum age.
The Nominating and Selection Committees have also expanded to include 18 members of the media. Hall of Famers Beth Daniel, Nick Price and Curtis Strange will join Annika Sorenstam as Co-Chairs on the Selection Committee.
"Being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame was one of the defining moments of my career, and I am honored to serve on the Selection Committee,” said Sorenstam. “These changes are positive for the Hall of Fame, and I am pleased that future members can enjoy the recognition and celebration of their achievements beginning at age 45.”
“We believe these changes will enhance the Hall of Fame in many ways and bring greater attention to the most deserving players at a time in their careers when they are still competing at the highest level,” said Greg McLaughlin, CEO of World Golf Foundation. “We look forward to the future of the Hall of Fame as we ensure it remains a meaningful way to recognize the game’s greats.”
The Nominating and Selection Committees will meet early this year to determine the World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2021. The 2021 Induction Ceremony date, location and class will be announced at a later date.