Until Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are on ballot, World Golf Hall of Fame votes are tough to figure
Usually it’s a no-brainer filling out my World Golf Hall of Fame ballots. Each year, a Vijay Singh or a Raymond Floyd or Se Ri Pak tops the list, and debate centers around one or two candidates.
That hasn’t been the case the past couple years. It probably won’t be clear cut again until Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods become eligible when they turn 40.
We’ve hit a patch of divots with this era of candidates (I‘ve got until March 2 to make my picks for the November, 2009 induction ceremony at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.). OK, maybe that’s a little harsh on the fellas, but nobody has a dominant resume, and several are so close that they’ve split the vote and fallen short of election criteria.
Here’s how it breaks down (among points and other requirements): “Every nominee receiving 65% of the votes on the ballot will be inducted. … In the event no candidate receives 65%, the nominee receiving the most votes will be inducted, provided he is named on at least 50% of the ballots returned.”
Fair enough. Last year, Craig Wood finally got in, receiving 65%. Lanny Wadkins got 52%, and if not for Wood, he would have made it.
Will – or should – Wadkins make it this time? How about Doug Ford (35% in ’08), Mark O’Meara (24%), Davis Love III (19%) or Fred Couples (17%)?
Here are the rest of the bunch on the PGA Tour ballot: Miller Barber, Jay Haas, Don January, Tony Lema, Harold “Jug” McSpaden, Kenny Perry, Macdonald Smith, Dave Stockton, Ken Venturi and Fuzzy Zoeller.
The International side has proven even more intriguing. Nobody got enough votes last year, with Jose Maria Olazabal (49%) and Jumbo Ozaki (46%) falling just short. Also under consideration: Graham Marsh, Colin Montgomerie, Ian Woosnam, Christy O’Connor Sr., Sandy Lyle, Norman Von Nida, Peter Alliss, Darren Clarke, Max Faulkner and Craig Parry.
I can vote for a maximum of four players on the PGA Tour ballot and three players on the International side. I could vote for one or none, but that wouldn’t be doing the process justice.
Doug Ford should be in. Ditto for Jose Maria Olazabal. I voted for both last year, and if you take issue with their records, go compare them to the rest of the players. Otherwise, I’m not saying who else is on my list, but I will listen to arguments, debates, emotional pleas and any crunching of numbers.
Oh, and if you’re thinking John Daly deserves a nod, forget it. He got 2% last year and was booted off the ballot.
Then again, if Big John ever makes a comeback, I just might vote for him. He wouldn’t be the first smokin’, drinkin’ and womanizin’ player with two majors elected to the Hall.
Let me know.
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Couples gets inducted then so should Mark O'Mearna who has 16 USPGA Tour wins including two majors. He has also played on several Ryder Cup teams and has won several Euro/Int'l events.
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