Norman Stewart Inducted into Hall of Fame
Greg Norman, winner of 75 worldwide events, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame Sunday in St. Augustine, Fla.; along with Payne Stewart, Donna Caponi, Judy Bell, Karsten Solheim and Allan Robertson.
The evening began with the Florida A&M Marching Band performing and playing the National Anthem. They then gave way to Master of Ceremonies and Hall of Famer Gary Player.
After a tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Player turned the microphone over to Dr. Trey Holland, the 56th President of the United States Golf Association.
Holland introduced Bell, the first honoree of the night. Bell, a lifelong amateur, both competed on and captained two Curtis Cup teams. She has been a volunteer for the USGA for 31 years, and in 1996 was the first woman elected president of the organization.
Im very grateful for this honor and I want to accept it on behalf of all golfs volunteers, said Bell, who is battling cancer.
Donna Caponi was the next inductee, introduced by LPGA Tour Commissioner Ty Votaw.
Caponi won 24 times on the LPGA Tour, including four major championships. She turned professional at the age of 19 in 1965 and earned her first victory in the 69 U.S. Womens Open.
I am what I am today because of my parents, said Caponi, trying to fight back tears.
She also recalled the time she and her father went to the driving range after receiving her first set of junior clubs at the age of eight.
He no sooner put (the ball) on the tee and I whacked him between the eyes, said Caponi, who at the time was leery that he may never again let her hit balls.
Thank God he did or I wouldnt be standing here today, she said.
Votaw then introduced John Solheim, who accepted on behalf of his late father who died last year of Parkinsons disease at the age of 88.
Karsten Solheim was the founder of Karsten Manufacturing, which produces Ping putters and equipment. He developed investment casting and perimeter-weighted irons, revolutionizing how clubs were made.
The LPGA Tours Solheim Cup was named after the innovator.
What my father enjoyed most was, Thank you, Karsten, from the many golfers, said John, the current Chairman and CEO of Ping.
He then looked to the sky and added, Dad, Ive never seen a bigger thank you than this.
Sir Michael Bonallack, the former secretary of the Royal & Ancient who was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2000, accepted on behalf of the late Allan Robertson.
Robertson is credited as the first golf professional. He was best known as the maker of the featherie ball and was the first player to break 80 on the Old Course at St. Andrews, with a round of 79 in 1858.
Legend has it that he and Old Tom Morris never lost when playing as a team.The nights ceremonies drew to a completion with the recognition of the two primary inductees, Stewart and Norman.
Stewarts great friend, Paul Azinger, introduced Paynes widow, Tracey, who accepted on behalf of her late husband.
Payne won three major championships, but more important Payne was a consummate professional, said Tracey, who was accompanied in the audience by their two children, Chelsea and Aaron.
Yesterday was our 20th wedding anniversary. And though Ive had to live the last two years without him, I must continue to testify to what a blessing he was to me and our two children.
With the knickers and the tam-o-shanter cap, Stewart was one of the games most recognizable figures. He won 18 times around the world, including 11 on the PGA Tour. He won the 1989 PGA Championship, and the 1991 and 99 U.S. Opens.
The inspirational leader on five Ryder Cup teams, Stewart was killed along with five others in a plane accident Oct. 25, 1999. He was 42 years old.
Last, but certainly not least, Steve Elkington introduced fellow Aussie Greg Norman. The two had played earlier in the day in Normans own Franklin Templeton Shootout down in Naples.
Norman has won 75 worldwide events in his career; 18 of which have come on the PGA Tour. He has also captured two major championships ' the 1986 and 93 British Opens. Nicknamed The Shark for his aggressive nature, Norman held the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking longer than anyone since its inception in 1986.
In addition to his many victories, Norman has an impressive list of emotional defeats. The 46-year-old Australian finished runner-up 31 times on the PGA Tour; eight of which came in major tournaments.
In 1986 Norman won the Saturday Slam by leading all four majors after the third round. Hes also the only player to lose all four majors in a playoff.
Perhaps both his worst professional defeat and biggest personal triumph came Sunday in the 1996 Masters. Norman led Nick Faldo by six shots entering the final round, only to shoot 78 and lose by five.
Of that incident, Norman said on this Sunday, The outcry of public support changed my outlook forever.
Regardless of his success and his shortcomings, fans and peers will always remember Norman for the manner in which he handled himself.
(Jack Nicklaus) taught me how to win and how to lose. The game of golf gives and it takes away.
Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational
Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.
The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.
Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs
JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.
Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.
The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.
Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.
Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump
Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.
Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.
None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.
Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.
An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.
In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.
Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.
Playing with the pros
Tiger, DJ and Faxon
President at the Presidents Cup
Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham
Cart on the green
Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open
Trump golf properties
Reportedly fake TIME covers
Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story
Pros comment on the president
Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017
GolfChannel.com is counting down the top 10 Newsmakers of the Year as voted on by Golf Channel’s writers, editors, reporters and producers. Check out the list below, including future release dates. And click here for the full collection of articles.
No. 1: Dec. 18