Announcement eases restrictions on women's HOF

By Randall MellMarch 23, 2014, 6:10 pm

PHOENIX – The World Golf Hall of Fame is opening a new door to the most accomplished women in the game.

With the release Sunday of the World Golf Hall of Fame’s new eligibility criteria, women whose careers fell short of qualifying for the LPGA Hall of Fame will now become eligible for induction to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Laura Davies, two points short of qualifying for the LPGA Hall of Fame, will become immediately eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame’s next induction class in 2015.

Dottie Pepper and Meg Mallon, both of whom fell short of the points required for LPGA induction, also will become immediately eligible for the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Lorena Ochoa will become eligible in 2017. While Ochoa surpassed the LPGA Hall of Fame points requirements, she fell short of its requirement that Hall of Famers be active LPGA members for at least 10 years. Ochoa retired at 28 in her eighth year on tour. A player becomes eligible for World Golf Hall of Fame induction at age 40, or five years after retirement.

The LPGA’s Hall of Fame requires members to earn 27 points for induction. A player gets a single point for an LPGA victory and two points for a major championship victory. A player also gets one point for winning the Vare Trophy and one point for the Rolex Player of the Year Award. Players who do not meet those requirements can still be inducted via the Veteran's Committee.

The new World Golf Hall of Fame’s criteria only require a woman to have 15 victories on tours that receive Rolex World Rankings points, or to have won two major championships, to be eligible for induction. A player meeting that criteria, however, must still pass a vote of the World Golf Hall of Fame Selection Commission to be inducted.

Davies, 50, outside her LPGA career has won 45 Ladies European titles, six LPGA of Japan Tour titles and eight Australian LPGA titles.

Mallon, 50, won 18 LPGA titles and four major championships.

Pepper, 48, won 17 LPGA titles, two major championships, a Rolex Player of the Year Award and the Vare Trophy.

The LPGA will continue to use its 27-point system for its Hall of Fame.

“The LPGA is fully supportive of the World Golf Hall of Fame’s introduction of the Female Competitor Category,” according to an LPGA statement. “This Category will give more women the opportunity to have their careers fully reviewed throughout the selection process, with the hope of enabling more women to be globally recognized for their tremendous accomplishments and impact on the game.

“While supporting and recognizing the game’s contributors through the World Golf Hall of Fame, the LPGA will continue to honor those players who achieve the incredible accomplishment of 27 points [under its current point system] with automatic induction into the LPGA Hall of Fame.”

LPGA Hall of Famers Nancy Lopez and Annika Sorenstam are members of the new World Golf Hall of Fame Selection Commission.

“This is great for women’s golf,” Sorenstam said in a statement. “More women will be debated, discussed, which ultimately will give the women more recognition.”

Liselotte Neumann, 47, the first Swede to win a major championship (’88 U.S. Women’s Open), instantly becomes eligible for World Golf Hall of Fame induction. She won 26 titles on Rolex Rankings tours (13 of them LPGA titles).

Helen Alfredsson, 48, won 22 titles on Rolex Rankings tours (7 LPGA titles, including a major, the ’93 Nabisco Dinah Shore).

Notably, Cristie Kerr, 36, Suzann Pettersen, 32, and Yani Tseng, 25, have all met the minimum victory requirements for World Golf Hall of Fame eligibility but won’t become eligible until they reach 40 years old or retire and wait five years to become eligible.


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Pepperell among co-leaders early in Qatar

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 5:06 pm

DOHA, Qatar – Eddie PepperellGregory Havret, and Aaron Rai made the most of calm early morning conditions at Doha Golf Club to set the pace in the opening round of the Qatar Masters at 7-under-par 65 on Thursday.

Havret went bogey free, Pepperell made one bogey and eight birdies, while fellow English golfer Rai eagled his last hole to add to five birdies.

One shot behind the leaders were four players, including former Ryder Cup player Edoardo Molinari of Italy and former champion Alvaro Quiros of Spain.

Defending champion Jeunghun Wang of South Korea started with a 68, and Race to Dubai leader Shubhankar Sharma of India shot 69 despite a double bogey on the 15th hole.

Full-field scores from the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters

Pepperell, who is fast gaining a reputation on the European Tour for his irreverent tweets and meaningful blogs, showed his clubs can also do an equal amount of talking after missing cuts in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Malaysia.

Pepperell birdied Nos. 10, 11, 14, 16 and 18 with a single blemish on 13 after starting on the back nine. He made three more birdies on his back nine.

He was joined on top of the leaderboard by Havret, who made five birdies in six holes from the sixth, and Rai, who eagled the last.

''I surprised myself, really,'' said Pepperell, who finished third in Portugal and Netherlands last year.

''I've made some changes this week with personnel, so I've been working on a couple of new things and I surprised myself out there with how well I managed to trust it.

''I hit some quality tee shots, that's the area I feel that I've been struggling with a bit lately. We had a good time.

''It's definitely a bigger picture for me this week than tomorrow and indeed the weekend. I'm not overly-fussed about my early season form.”

Molinari, a three-time champion on the tour including last year in Morocco, started with eight straight pars, and then made seven birdies in his last 10 holes, including a chip-in for birdie on the last.

''I hit every green apart from the last one. I hit a lot of fairways, I had a lot of chances for birdie,'' said Edoardo, the older brother of Francesco.

''Last week in Oman, I had a decent week, I had a bad first round and then three very good rounds. It's been the case for the last few weeks so my focus this week was to try and get a good start.''

Oliver Fisher of England was the best among the afternoon groups with a 6-under 66, joining Molinari, Quiros and Germany's Marcel Schneider in a tie for fourth.

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 22, 2018, 4:45 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Honda Classic: Tee times, TV schedule, stats

By Golf Channel DigitalFebruary 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

The PGA Tour heads back east to kick off the Florida Swing at PGA National. Here are the key stats and information for the Honda Classic. Click here for full-field tee times.

How to watch:

Thursday, Rd. 1: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream:

Friday, Rd. 2: Golf Channel, 2-6PM ET; live stream:

Saturday, Rd. 3: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Sunday, Rd. 4: Golf Channel, 1-2:45PM ET; live stream:; CBS, 3-6PM ET

Purse: $6.6 million ($1,188,000 to the winner)

Course: PGA National, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida (par-70; 7,140 yards)

Defending champion: Rickie Fowler (-12) won by four, picking off his fourth PGA Tour victory.

Notables in the field:

Tiger Woods

• Making his fourth start at the Honda Classic and his first since withdrawing with back spasms in 2014.

• Shot a Sunday 62 in a T-2 finish in 2012, marking his lowest career final-round score on the PGA Tour.

• Coming off a missed cut at last week's Genesis Open, his 17th in his Tour career.

Rickie Fowler

• The defending champion owns the lowest score to par and has recorded the most birdies and eagles in this event since 2012.

• Fowler's last start was at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, where he failed to close a 54-hole lead. Fowler is 1-for-6 with 54-hole leads in his Tour career, with his only successful close coming at last year's Honda.

• On Tour this year, Fowler is first in scrambling from the fringe, second in total scrambling and third in strokes gained around the green. 

Rory McIlroy

• It's been feast or famine for McIlroy at the Honda. He won in 2012, withdrew with a toothache in 2013, finished T-2 in 2014 and missed the cut in 2015 and 2016.

• McIlroy ascended to world No. 1 with his victory at PGA National in 2012, becoming the second youngest player at 22 years old to top the OWGR, behind only Woods. McIlroy was later edged by a slightly younger 22-year-old Jordan Spieth.

• Since the beginning of 2010, only Dustin Johnson (15) has more PGA Tour victories than McIlroy (13). 

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Lexi, J. Korda part of four-way tie in Thailand

By Associated PressFebruary 22, 2018, 1:01 pm

CHONBURI, Thailand – Three-time tour winner Minjee Lee of Australia finished with a superb eagle putt to be among the four leaders after Day 1 of the LPGA Thailand at Siam Country Club on Thursday.

Lee sank a 45-foot putt on the 18th hole to card a 6-under-par 66 to tie for the lead with 2016 champion Lexi Thompson, Jessica Korda, and local hope Moriya Jutanugarn.

''I just hit the collar. I didn't know if I was going to have enough. Such a big break there. I'm glad it caught the hole,'' Lee said.

''It's a second-shot golf course. Your approaches are really important, and obviously being in the right spots with the undulation. And if you have a hot putter that's going to help.''

Full-field scores from the Honda LPGA Thailand

Lee won the Vic Open near Melbourne this month and opened her 2018 LPGA tour account last week at the Women's Australian Open, finishing fifth.

Thompson, who won this event in 2016 by six shots with a 20-under total and tied for fourth last year, started her latest round in style with an eagle followed by a birdie only to bogey the third hole. She carded four more birdies.

''It definitely helps to get that kind of start, but I was just trying to keep that momentum and not get ahead of myself,'' Thompson said.

Her compatriot Korda had a roller-coaster round which featured eagles on the first and 17th holes, five birdies, a double bogey on the sixth, and two bogeys.

Jutanugarn was the only player among the four to end the day without a bogey.

''I had a good start today, it was better than I expected,'' said Jutanugarn, who was seventh here last year.

She's trying to become the first Thai winner of the tournament.

Two-time champion Amy Yang and world No. 2 Sung Hyun Park were among six players at 5 under.