New York, New York (September 26, 2017) – Just two days before the playing of the 12th annual Presidents Cup at nearby Liberty National Golf Club, the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum kicked off a historic week in New York with the enshrinement of its 2017 Induction Class today at Cipriani Wall Street.
More than 30 Hall of Fame Members, including icons Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam and the entire 2015 Class returned to support the new members: Davis Love III, Meg Mallon, Lorena Ochoa Reyes, Ian Woosnam and the late Henry Longhurst.
Davis Love III, United States
In a career that has spanned four decades on the PGA TOUR, Love has notched 22 victories including the 1997 PGA Championship and two victories at The PLAYERS Championship in 1992 and 2003. His quality of play has earned him a place on six U.S. Ryder Cup teams and six Presidents Cup teams. He has captained two Ryder Cup teams, including the victorious 2016 team. Love is a recipient of both the Payne Stewart and Bob Jones Awards.
Meg Mallon, United States
Her 18 career LPGA Tour victories and four Major Championships are just part of Mallon's winning make-up. A member of nine Solheim Cup teams (captain in 2013), Mallon was recognized during the LPGA's 50th Anniversary as one of the LPGA's top-50 players and teachers. She also earned the Golf Writers Association of America Female Player of the Year award in 1991.
Lorena Ochoa Reyes, Mexico
In her first full season on the LPGA Tour, Ochoa Reyes had eight top-10 finishes, finished ninth on the LPGA Tour's money list and was named Rookie of the Year. She finished with 27 victories on the LPGA Tour, including two major championships. She was ranked World Number One for 158 consecutive weeks (2007-2010). In a three-year stretch (2006-2008), she won 21 tournaments, including the two majors and in 2008, she dominated with wins by as many as 11 strokes on more than one occasion. Ochoa Reyes is the first Mexican-born golfer to enter into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Ian Woosnam, United Kingdom
"Woosie," winner of the 1991 Masters Tournament, sat atop the Official World Golf Rankings for 50 weeks throughout 1991 and 1992. His sterling play led him to represent Europe in eight consecutive Ryder Cup teams from 1983 to 1997. Woosnam won the Order of Merit as the leading money winner on the European Tour and named European Player of the Year in 1987 and 1990. In recognition of his contributions to golf, he was awarded the Queen's honor of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006.
Henry Longhurst, United Kingdom
A weekly columnist for the London Sunday Times for 40 years, Longhurst was also considered to be the first golf TV personality providing coverage for the BBC from the 1950s until his death in 1978.
"Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Davis, Lorena, Meg, Ian and the family of the late Henry Longhurst," said Jack Peter, President of the World Golf Hall of Fame. "Between Scotland and now New York, we are very pleased with the direction and the momentum the Hall of Fame continues to build. We are grateful for the opportunity to kick off Presidents Cup week and share the stories of these five worthy inductees with audiences all over the world."
Emceed by well-known television reporter Cara Robinson, the ceremony was broadcasted live on the Golf Channel in the United States and seen in more than 25 countries.
First to receive the Induction Crystal was Mallon, presented by friend and former LPGA Commissioner Ty Votaw who described the four-time Major winner as the "owner of a big, crinkly, beautiful smile."
Prior to the start of her induction speech, Mallon first asked her family and friends in the audience to stand to be acknowledged for helping her reach her goals, which included a scholarship to her beloved Ohio State University. Mallon also recalled her memories as a member of the LPGA family, which included nine U.S. Solheim Cup appearances.
Following Mallon's acceptance and to the delight of the audience, the Hall of Fame played an emotional video to honor the late Arnold Palmer, who passed away just over one year ago on September 25, 2016.
Shortly after, Player took the stage to introduce his friend Woosnam who proudly accepted his Induction Crystal and dedicated it to his family, including his late mother and father. Woosnam, known for his power off the tee, smiled while reminiscing about his long, successful career.
Longhurst, a hybrid journalist who wrote extensively for the London Times before seamlessly transitioning to broadcast work for the BBC, was presented by fellow journalist, countryman and admirer, John Hopkins. On hand to accept the Induction Crystal, was Longhurst's granddaughter Virginia "Ginny" Hudson.
Next to be honored was Ochoa Reyes, the first Mexican-born golfer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. LPGA golf legend Juli Inkster introduced Ochoa Reyes, who took the stage before more than 80 friends and family members. Unlike many other Hall of Fame Members in the room, she is best remembered for leaving the game on her own terms at age 28 to pursue a family and help others in her home country. Before exiting the stage, a very grateful Ochoa, looked down at her parents, who were sitting in the front row and delivered a heartfelt message in Spanish.
The final inductee recognized was Love III, a 21-time PGA TOUR winner, 1997 PGA Champion and a two-time THE PLAYERS champion. On stage to present Love III, was mentor and fellow Hall of Fame Member Tom Kite. Upon accepting his Hall of Fame honor, an emotional Love III brought his three-year old granddaughter, Eloise on stage as a symbol of the Love family golf lineage, which includes his late father and his son, Dru Love. He concluded his speech by saying "induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame is the greatest honor of my life."
The next Induction Ceremony will take place in 2019 in Pebble Beach, California the week of the men's U.S. Open Championship. The Class of 2019 will be announced in 2018.
For more information on the World Golf Hall of Fame or to view detailed biographies of the 2017 Induction Class, transcripts and photos from the ceremony, visit WorldGolfHallofFame.org.
Click here for transcripts to the Induction Ceremony. Click here for images from the Ceremony.
About the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum
The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum preserves and honors the history of golf and the legacies of those who have made it great. The Hall of Fame & Museum, located at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., serves as a steward of the game through engaging, interactive storytelling and exhibitions featuring artifacts, works of art, audio, video and photography significant to the history of golf and its members.
The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution and is allied with 26 national and international golf organizations, including The European Tour, LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA. To learn more about the Hall of Fame or to lend support, visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org.
About the World Golf Hall of Fame 2017 Induction Sponsors
Shell Oil Company
As the Founding Partner of the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum and World Golf Village, Shell Oil Company played a lead role in supporting the development and growth of the institution, which opened in 1998. Since then, their continued involvement has led the way for others to join in support of the Hall of Fame & Museum's mission. For more information, go to www.Shell.com.
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered more than 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, exploration, sports, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programs. For more information, visit www.Rolex.com.