Peter Alliss and Sandy Lyle, two of Britain’s most celebrated golfing figures, will be honoured for their contribution to the game next year when they are inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Alliss – selected via the Lifetime Achievement Category – and Lyle – elected through the International Ballot – will be honoured along with fellow 2012 inductees Phil Mickelson, Hollis Stacy and Dan Jenkins at the Hall of Fame’s Induction Ceremony on May 7, 2012 at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida.
Both men were on hand when the official announcement was made by European Tour Chief Executive and World Golf Foundation Chairman George O’Grady and World Golf Hall of Fame Chief Operating Officer Jack Peter during The European Tour’s Race to Dubai Golfer of the Year Luncheon in London. European Ryder Cup captain José María Olazábal, himself a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, was also in attendance.
“This is a special day for The European Tour,” said George O’Grady. “Peter Alliss and Sandy Lyle are both very worthy candidates for the World Golf Hall of Fame.
“Peter followed a highly acclaimed playing career by becoming a hugely admired and wonderfully entertaining commentator while Sandy played a pivotal role in raising the image and popularity of British and European golf with his exceptional winning performances in the 1985 Open Championship and the 1988 Masters Tournament.“
Jack Peter added: “Sandy Lyle and Peter Alliss are terrific additions to the Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 is international, diverse and rich with history. We are thrilled to honour all five inductees next May.”
Lyle’s career is highlighted by his victories in The Open Championship at Royal St George’s in 1985 and in the 1988 Masters Tournament, where he made a birdie on the 18th hole to become the first British winner at Augusta National.
In between those victories, he also picked up The Players Championship on the US PGA Tour in 1987. In total he has won 29 tournaments worldwide, including 16 on The European Tour and three other US PGA Tour titles. In 1987, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
“I am not only delighted, but also very excited to be honoured by the World Golf Hall of Fame,” said the 53 year old Scot. “I would like to thank all who voted for me – to be placed in the company of the greatest names in our game is very special and I am looking forward so much to the Induction Ceremony next May.”
Lyle’s triumphs in the Open and Masters were two of many memorable television occasions commentated on by Alliss, whose career behind the microphone began with the BBC in 1961 at The Open Championship won by Arnold Palmer at Royal Birkdale.
Son of Percy Alliss, one of the finest players of his generation, Peter turned professional when only 15. He won 23 tournaments worldwide during the 1950s and 1960s, including three British PGA Championships, and captured the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Opens in three consecutive weeks.
Twice a winner of the Vardon Trophy, he was selected for every Great Britain and Ireland Ryder Cup team except one from 1953 to 1969 and played ten times for England in the World Cup. Twice captain of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland, the first President of the European Women’s PGA and a Past President of the British Greenkeepers’ Association, Alliss has also been associated with the design of more than 50 courses and is a respected author of more than 20 golfing books.
“This is all very unexpected,” said the 80 year old Englishman. “I am delighted, surprised, humbled and honoured to be thought of in this way and to be given a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame, particularly as it is chosen by people all around the world.”
With the full class announced, the Hall of Fame will begin preparations for the Induction Ceremony and for information about the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum, or the 2012 Induction Ceremony, visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org.