Casting My Unofficial HOF Ballot

By Mercer BaggsJanuary 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
There is a reason I dont get a vote for election into the World Golf Hall of Fame: Im in my early 30s and have been in the golf journalism business for just over a decade.
 
Because Im only first-hand familiar with players dating back to the 80s, it would probably be unfair for me to vote for or deny a vote to someone like Henry Picard or Doug Ford or even Lanny Wadkins.
 
Therefore, Ill cast my unofficial ballot with consideration given to those whose careers Ive actually followed over the years.
 
Side note: players fall off the PGA TOUR ballot if they do not receive at least five percent of the returned vote in two consecutive years. That's why the current ballot has only 20 players on it instead of many more. A player can remain on the ballot for up to 15 years.
 
Curtis Strange
Curtis StrangeResume: Strange won 17 times on TOUR, including back-to-back U.S. Open titles (something only five other players have ever done). He also led the money list three times, won one PGA Player of the Year award, and was a part of six Ryder Cup teams as a player or captain.
 
Vote: Yes. If Ben Crenshaw is in the Hall, then so, too, should be Strange. The only reason he's not is is because voters don't like Strange, as a person, as much as Crenshaw.
 
Fred Couples
Fred CouplesResume: Couples has 15 TOUR wins, including the 1992 Masters Tournament and two PLAYERS Championship titles. He led the money list in 92 and is a two-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year. He has been a member of five Ryder Cup and four Presidents Cup teams, and was the No. 1 player in the world for a total of 16 weeks. He also has five International victories.
 
Vote: No. Couples was a great player, but he needs to win at least one more major to gain entry into the Hall. Had he made a few more putts last year at Augusta, he'd be a lock.
 
Davis Love III
Davis Love IIIResume: Love has 19 PGA TOUR wins, including the 1997 PGA Championship and two PLAYERS Championship titles. He has played on six Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams apiece. He has one International victory.
 
Vote: No. Love has never topped the money list or won a Player of the Year award. He, like his buddy Couples, needs to win another major ' or, at the very least, try to get around the 25-win plateau.
 
Mark OMeara
Mark OResume: OMeara won 16 TOUR events, including the Masters and Open Championship in 1998, a year in which he also earned Player of the Year honors. He was the 1981 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and has been a member of five Ryder Cup and two Presidents Cup teams.
 
Vote: No. OMeara has only finished inside the top 10 on the money list six times in his 26-year career. He was a very good player, but even his two majors dont make him Hall worthy.
 
John Daly
John DalyResume: Daly has won five TOUR events, including the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship. He has four International victories.
 
Vote: No. Daly received 3 percent of the returned vote a year ago. That 3 percent should lose their voting rights.
 
David Toms
David TomsResume: Toms has 11 TOUR wins, including the 2001 PGA Championship. He has been a member of three Ryder Cup and two Presidents Cup teams.
 
Vote: No. Considering how truly difficult it is in the Tiger Woods era to win a money title or Player of the Year award, Toms will likely need to get around 20 wins with two majors to earn serious consideration ' or continue winning on an annual basis and get three majors. He just turned 40, so its not entirely impossible. Just unlikely.
 
Email your thoughts to Mercer Baggs
 
Related Links:
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    McCoy earns medalist honors at Web.com Q-School

    By Will GrayDecember 11, 2017, 12:30 am

    One year after his budding career was derailed by a car accident, Lee McCoy got back on track by earning medalist honors at the final stage of Web.com Tour Q-School.

    McCoy shot a final-round 65 at Whirlwind Golf Club in Chandler, Ariz., to finish the 72-hole event at 28 under. That total left him two shots ahead of Sung-Jae Im and guaranteed him fully-exempt status on the developmental circuit in 2018.

    It's an impressive turnaround for the former University of Georgia standout who finished fourth at the 2016 Valspar Championship as an amateur while playing alongside Jordan Spieth in the final round. But he broke his wrist in a car accident the day before second stage of Q-School last year, leaving him without status on any major tour to begin the year.

    McCoy was not the only player who left Arizona smiling. Everyone in the top 10 and ties will be exempt through the first 12 events of the new Web.com Tour season, a group that includes former amateur standouts Curtis Luck (T-3), Sam Burns (T-10) and Maverick McNealy (T-10).

    Players who finished outside the top 10 but inside the top 45 and ties earned exemptions into the first eight events of 2018. That group includes Cameron Champ (T-16), who led the field in driving at this year's U.S. Open as an amateur, and Wyndham Clark (T-23).

    Everyone who advanced to the final stage of Q-School will have at least conditional Web.com Tour status in 2018. Among those who failed to secure guaranteed starts this week were Robby Shelton, Rico Hoey, Jordan Niebrugge, Joaquin Niemann and Kevin Hall.

    Els honored with Heisman Humanitarian Award

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 11:41 pm

    The annual Heisman Trophy award ceremony is one of the biggest moments in any football season, but there was a touching non-football moment as well on Saturday night as Ernie Els received the Heisman Humanitarian Award.

    The award, which had been announced in August, recognized Els' ongoing efforts on behalf of his Els for Autism foundation. Els received the award at Manhattan's PlayStation Theater, where Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield won the Heisman Trophy.

    Els, 47, founded Els for Autism in 2009 with his wife after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism. Their efforts have since flourished into a 26-acre campus in Jupiter, Fla., and the creation of the Els Center for Excellence in 2015.

    The Heisman Humanitarian Award has been given out since 2006. Past recipients include NBA center David Robinson, NFL running back Warrick Dunn, soccer star Mia Hamm and NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon.

    A native of South Africa, Els won the U.S. Open in 1994 and 1997 and The Open in 2002 and 2012. He has won 19 times on the PGA Tour and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011.

    Getty Images

    Monday finish for Joburg Open; Sharma leads by 4

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 10, 2017, 8:57 pm

    Rain, lightning and hail pushed the Joburg Open to a Monday finish, with India’s Shubhankar Sharma holding a four-stroke lead with 11 holes to play in Johannesburg.

    Play is scheduled to resume at 7:30 a.m. local time.

    South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen will have a 3-foot putt for birdie to move within three shots of Sharma wen play resumes at the Randpark Golf Club. Sarma is at 22 under par.

    Tapio Pulkkanen of Finland and James Morrison of England are tied for third at 14 under. Pulkkanen has 10 holes remaining, Morrison 11.

    The top three finishers who are not already exempt, will get spots in next year’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

     

     

    Stricker, O'Hair team to win QBE Shootout

    By Will GrayDecember 10, 2017, 8:55 pm

    It may not count in the official tally, but Steve Stricker is once again in the winner's circle on the PGA Tour.

    Stricker teamed with Sean O'Hair to win the two-person QBE Shootout, as the duo combined for a better-ball 64 in the final round to finish two shots clear of Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. It's the second win in this event for both men; Stricker won with Jerry Kelly back in 2009 while O'Hair lifted the trophy with Kenny Perry in 2012.

    Stricker and O'Hair led wire-to-wire in the 54-hole, unofficial event after posting a 15-under 57 during the opening-round scramble.

    "We just really gelled well together," Stricker said. "With his length the first day, getting some clubs into the greens, some short irons for me, we just fed off that first day quite a bit. We felt comfortable with one another."


    Full-field scores from the QBE Shootout


    Stricker won 12 times during his PGA Tour career, most recently at the 2012 Tournament of Champions. More recently the 50-year-old has been splitting his time on the PGA Tour Champions and captained the U.S. to a victory at the Presidents Cup in October. O'Hair has four official Tour wins, most recently at the 2011 RBC Canadian Open.

    Pat Perez and Brian Harman finished alone in third, four shots behind Stricker and O'Hair. Lexi Thompson and Tony Finau, the lone co-ed pairing in the 12-team event, finished among a tie for fourth.