Six inducted into Golf Hall of Fame

By Randall MellMay 8, 2012, 1:29 am

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – If laughs were birdies, the World Golf Hall of Fame’s 2012 class might have set some scoring records during Monday’s induction ceremony.

With Dan Jenkins and Peter Alliss delivering brilliant speeches that rivaled stand-up comic acts, the night ranked as one of the most entertaining in this Hall’s history.

Phil Mickelson was no slouch, showing off his clever storytelling abilities, and Sandy Lyle and Hollis Stacy delivered poignant moments.

Nights like this can sometimes drag, but not this one, not with Alliss making sure nobody will ever forget his appearance. He pulled off the trickiest of closing statements. He somehow managed to leave the audience roaring in approval as he thrust his middle finger to the heavens as an exclamation point to one last story.

Here are highlights of the five inductees’ speeches in the order they appeared:

Dan Jenkins and tombstones . . .

Jenkins, the author/writer, wowed the audience with statistics.

He reviewed all 141 names in the Hall of Fame and came up with these stats: “I have known 95 of these people when they were living. I've written stories about 73 of them. I've had cocktails and drinks with 47 of them, and I played golf with 24 of them. So I want somebody else to try and go up against that record.”

Jenkins set a lively tone with some terrific lines.

“I am particularly pleased to be taken in as a vertical human,” he said.

Jenkins joins Bernard Darwin and Herbert Warren Wind as the only writers in the Hall of Fame. Darwin and Wind were both inducted posthumously. Jenkins said he knows what his tombstone will say when he passes: “I knew this would happen.”

Jenkins has covered 211 major championships.

“As for all those majors I've covered, it's obviously a record that'll never be broken, because one day there's not going to be any more magazines and newspapers, and, for that matter, there's not going to be any more people. There's just going to be vampires and text messages and some voice saying, `turn left now.’

Sandy Lyle and dead Scots . . .

Lyle recalled the hard climb that came before he broke through to win the British Open in 1985, before he became the first international player to win The Players Championship in '87 and before he became the first British winner of the Masters in '88.

“I remember winning Tour school,” Lyle said. “It doubled my bank balance to about 300 pounds.”

Lyle is the 11th Scot to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, the first who wasn’t inducted posthumously.

“At least I’m alive,” Lyle said.

Hollis Stacy’s love story . . .

Her induction was a love story. She recounted her love of family and her love of the game.

“There were never enough hours in the day, enough days in the week, enough weeks in the year to play golf,” Stacy said.

One of 10 children growing up in Savannah, Ga., Stacy won 18 LPGA titles and four majors. She was delighted to have 30 family and friends in attendance, including six of her siblings and her 84-year-old mother, Tillie. She lost her father and a brother, but her sister, Martha Leach, presented her. Leach won the U.S. Women’s Mid-Amateur, making them the second sisters to win U.S. Golf Association events.

“I had some great teachers, but the intangible that separated me was growing up in a large family,” Stacy said. “My nine brothers and sisters were my biggest fans, my fiercest competitors and my best friends. I learned to live in chaos and handle things that weren’t in my control . . . I dedicate everything I’ve done to my family.”

Peter Alliss and Mrs. Weymouth . . . 

Alliss rivaled Jenkins with his comic timing.

His closing won’t soon be forgotten, ending with a crude gesture to the heavens that brought the house down as an exclamation point to his final story.

Alliss, the Englishman who played in eight Ryder Cups before becoming a popular BBC commentator, told the story of the stern education he received from Mrs. Violet Weymouth, a chunky Welsh headmistress at Crosby House.

“You didn’t mess about with Mrs. Weymouth, I can tell you that,” Alliss said. “I remember the last report she sent back to my parents, and it went something like this:  `Peter does have a brain, but he's rather loathe to use it.  His only interests appear to be the game of golf and Violet Pretty,’ a girl I liked. 'I fear for his future' were the last words she wrote on my report.”

Alliss closed saying if there is a heaven, and his parents are looking down, he hopes they’re pleased.

“And Mrs. Weymouth, if you’re there . . .”

Alliss didn’t finish the sentence, instead, thrusting his middle finger skyward.

Phil Mickelson and  . . .

Mickelson poked fun at a few folks, including himself.

He told the story of how he developed his competitive skills and his girth while working as a range picker as a kid.

“I would have putting matches with the other coworkers, and we would putt for a soda and a candy bar,” Mickelson said. “Unfortunately I was somewhat successful.”

Mickelson shared loving stories about his wife, Amy, and his three children and how they’ve come to mark time with memories of their children at majors. He also gave special thanks to Steve Loy, his agent, and his long-time caddie, Jim “Bones” Mackay.

“He's a great caddie,” Mickelson said. “He's a most loyal friend.  In the mid '90s we were playing a tournament in Las Vegas and there was an earthquake at 2 in the morning.  The chandelier was swaying from side to side hitting the ceiling.  His roommate told me the next day that Bones leaped out of bed, grabbed the clubs and ran outside.  He didn't want anything to fall on them and hurt them.”

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Watch: McIlroy gives Fleetwood a birthday cake

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 19, 2018, 2:58 pm

Tommy Fleetwood turned 27 on Friday. He celebrated with some good golf – a 4-under 68 in Abu Dhabi, leaving him only two shots back in his title defense – and a birthday cake, courtesy of Rory Mcllroy.

While giving a post-round interview, Fleetwood was surprised to see McIlroy approaching with a cake in hand.

“I actually baked this before we teed off,” McIlroy joked.

Fleetwood blew out the three candles – “three wishes!” – and offered McIlroy a slice.  

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DJ shoots 64 to surge up leaderboard in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 1:48 pm

Dustin Johnson stood out among a star-studded three-ball that combined to shoot 18 under par with just one bogey Friday at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Shaking off a sloppy first round at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Johnson matched the low round of the day with a 64 that put him within four shots of Thomas Pieters’ lead.

“I did everything really well,” Johnson said. “It was a pretty easy 64.”

Johnson made four bogeys during an even-par 72 on Thursday and needed a solid round Friday to make the cut. Before long, he was closer to the lead than the cut line, making birdie on three of the last four holes and setting the pace in a group that also included good rounds from Rory McIlroy (66) and Tommy Fleetwood (68).

“Everyone was hitting good shots,” McIlroy said. “That’s all we were seeing, and it’s nice when you play in a group like that. You feed off one another.” 

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

Coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, Johnson is searching for his first regular European Tour title. He tied for second at this event a year ago.

Johnson’s second-round 64 equaled the low round of the day (Jorge Campillo and Branden Grace). 

“It was just really solid all day long,” Johnson said. “Hit a lot of great shots, had a lot of looks at birdies, which is what I need to do over the next two days if I want to have a chance to win on Sunday.” 

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Closing eagle moves Rory within 3 in Abu Dhabi

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:57 pm

What rust? Rory McIlroy appears to be in midseason form.

Playing competitively for the first time since Oct. 8, McIlroy completed 36 holes without a bogey Friday, closing with an eagle to shoot 6-under 66 to sit just three shots back at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

“I’m right in the mix after two days and I’m really happy in that position,” he told reporters afterward.

McIlroy took a 3 ½-month break to heal his body, clear his mind and work on his game after his first winless year since 2008, his first full season as a pro.

He's back on track at a familiar playground, Abu Dhabi Golf Club, where he’s racked up eight top-11s (including six top-3s) in his past nine starts there.

Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

McIlroy opened with a 69 Thursday, then gave himself even more chances on Day 2, cruising along at 4 under for the day when he reached the par-5 closing hole. After launching a 249-yard long iron to 25 feet, he poured in the eagle putt to pull within three shots of Thomas Pieters (65). 

Despite the layoff, McIlroy edged world No. 1 Dustin Johnson, coming off a blowout victory at Kapalua, by a shot over the first two rounds. 

“DJ is definitely the No. 1 player in the world right now, and one of, if not the best, driver of the golf ball," McIlroy said. "To be up there with him over these first two days, it proves to me that I’m doing the right things and gives me a lot of confidence going forward.”

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Duke to fill in for injured Pavin at CareerBuilder

By Ryan LavnerJanuary 19, 2018, 12:25 pm

Ken Duke will fill in for Corey Pavin for the next two rounds of the CareerBuilder Challenge – with nothing at stake but his amateur partner’s position on the leaderboard.

Pavin was 4 over par when he withdrew after 17 holes Thursday because of a neck injury. Tournament officials contacted Duke, the first alternate, and asked if he would take Pavin’s spot and partner with Luis Lopez for the next two rounds, even though he would not receive any official money.

Duke accepted and explained his decision on Twitter:

Playing on past champion’s status, the 48-year-old Duke has made only four starts this season, with a best finish of a tie for 61st at the RSM Classic.

Pavin received a sponsor exemption into the event, his first PGA Tour start since the 2015 Colonial.