The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum celebrated the arrival of five more members on Monday as Colin Montgomerie, Fred Couples, Willie Park, Jr., former European Tour Executive Director Ken Schofield and U.S. Open champion and broadcast legend Ken Venturi were inducted at the annual Induction Ceremony.
The evening’s events were held at World Golf Village, with the Ceremony at the St. Johns County Convention Center and the Gala dinner within the Hall of Fame..
“It is an honour to welcome the Class of 2013,” said Jack Peter, Chief Operating Officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “The accomplishments of this group, both on and off the course, are remarkable. We are thrilled to have them in the Hall of Fame family and are proud to tell their wonderful stories.”
The Class of 2013:
Colin Montgomerie (International Ballot)
Montgomerie was The European Tour’s top player in the 1990s, winning the Order of Merit a record seven times from 1993-99. He captured another Harry Vardon Trophy in 2005. The Scot won 31 European Tour titles – a record by a British player – and, in total, 40 tournaments worldwide.
Despite that success, his impact may be even greater on the Ryder Cup. In eight successive Ryder Cup appearances from 1991, Montgomerie helped Europe to five victories while creating an unprecedented record of being unbeaten in the singles with a 6-0-2 mark. He went on to captain the European Team, which regained The Ryder Cup at The Celtic Manor Resort in 2010, a moment the 49 year old cherishes as one of the proudest in his illustrious.
Montgomerie said: “When I think about proud achievements, I suppose winning seven Orders of Merit in a row was something that I look back on and realise how special it was.
“I'm probably most proud of that, but I look back at my career and raising the Ryder Cup as captain in 2010, to regain the Ryder Cup from the victory that the States had in 2008, was a very proud moment. It's funny because I never hit a golf shot that week. In terms of proud moments without hitting a ball, then it has to be raising the Ryder Cup.”
Fred Couples (PGA TOUR Ballot)
Couples is one of the game’s most popular players and revered for his picturesque golf swing. It carried him to the top of the game, winning the 1992 Masters Tournament and becoming the first American player to reach No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. He dominated in the early 1990s, winning PGA TOUR Player of the Year and the Vardon Trophy in 1991 and 1992, on his way to 15 career PGA TOUR wins.
Couples is also a fixture for the United States in team competitions. He played on five Ryder Cup teams, helping the Americans to victories in 1991 and 1993. The Presidents Cup has been another important competition for Couples – he played on four U.S. Teams, with three emerging victorious. He also captained the winning U.S. Presidents Cup teams in 2009 and 2011 and will once again lead the Americans at the 2013 Presidents Cup at Muirfield Village.
Willie Park, Jr. (Veterans Category)
Park is one of the Open Championship’s most distinguished players, winning in 1887 and 1889 while compiling 12 top ten finishes in golf’s oldest major. Park, whose father Willie, Sr. is also in the Hall of Fame, used his prowess as a player as a springboard to other facets of the game. He was a pioneer of ball and club design, registering several patents. Park's seminal 1896 book “The Game of Golf” was the first about golf written by a professional golfer. His widely acclaimed “The Art of Putting” was published in 1920.
His lasting impact may be from his course design. He designed or modified more than 200 courses in Europe, the U.S. and Canada, including Sunningdale Golf Club outside of London, Maidstone Club in New York and Olympia Fields in Chicago.
Ken Schofield (Lifetime Achievement Category)
Schofield pushed The European Tour and The Ryder Cup to new heights. He became The European Tour’s Executive Director in 1975. Under his leadership, the Tour grew from 17 official events to 45 official events with a prize fund of more than £106 million when he retired in 2004.
Schofield initiated global expansion for the game when he took The European Tour outside of the European continent for the first time in 1982 with the playing of the Tunisian Open. That began a structure whereby the Tour positioned itself internationally with more opportunity and incentive for the players in first the Major Championships then the World Golf Championships. Schofield was also heavily involved in the decision to open The Ryder Cup up from Great Britain & Ireland to all of Europe, which was a major catalyst for that event becoming one of the biggest in the world.
Ken Venturi (Lifetime Achievement Category)
Venturi forged an iconic career in the game, both on the course and in the broadcast booth. As a player, Venturi won 14 times on the PGA TOUR. He made his most dramatic mark in the 1964 U.S. Open, where he overcame 100-degree temperatures at Congressional Country Club and severe dehydration to win his major championship.
After carpel tunnel syndrome forced him out of competitive golf, Venturi joined the CBS television team in 1968. It began a 35-year career which saw him become one of the most respected voices in the game. In 2000, he received the PGA of America Lifetime Achievement in Journalism Award. That same year, he captained the U.S. Team to victory in the Presidents Cup competition.
The Class of 2013 brings the Hall of Fame’s membership to 146. Each of the five newest Inductees donated memorabilia from their standout careers for inclusion in the Inductee Exhibits at the Hall of Fame. They include a case in Shell Hall and a permanent space in the Member Locker Room. The exhibits will be open to the public on May 7.
For more information about the World Golf Hall of Fame, the Induction Ceremony or to learn more about the 2013 Class of Inductees, visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org