Hall of Fame inductees boast impressive resumes

By Randall MellMay 6, 2013, 3:45 pm

A Hall of Fame class notably light on major championships will be inducted Monday in St. Augustine, Fla.

Fred Couples, Colin Montgomerie, Willie Park Jr., Ken Schofield and Ken Venturi will be honored at the St. Johns County Convention Center at the World Golf Village with the ceremony beginning at 6 p.m. Golf Channel’s telecast will air at 10 p.m.

The four former players being inducted combined to win just four major championships but also made marks beyond those stages.

NBC’s Dan Hicks will host the induction ceremony.

Couples, 53, won 15 PGA Tour titles and one major, the Masters in 1992. He qualified for induction garnering 51 percent of the vote in the Hall of Fame balloting. Though 65 percent is required for induction, a special provision grants membership to the leading vote-getter, provided nobody garners the minimum and the vote-getter pulls at least 50 percent of the vote. Couples will be presented Monday evening by CBS’ Jim Nantz.

Montgomerie, 49, one of three Scots being inducted, won 31 European Tour titles without a major among them. He was elected through the international ballot, also via special provision after garnering just 51 percent of the vote. He will be presented by European Tour chief executive George O’Grady.

Venturi, 81, won 14 PGA Tour titles and one major, the U.S. Open in 1964, but he also made his mark as CBS’ golf analyst for 35 years. He was elected through the lifetime achievement category. Venturi is recovering from surgery and will not be able to attend the ceremony. Nantz will present and represent Venturi.

Park Jr., a Scot who died in 1925, won the British Open twice.

Schofield, 67, yet another Scot, was the executive director during the rise of the European Tour from 1975-2004. He was elected through the lifetime achievement category. Former USGA executive director David Fay will present him.

Here are capsules of the five inductees:

Fred Couples

• His 15 PGA Tour titles include two Players Championships (1984, ’96). His Masters triumph was among a dozen top-five finishes in majors.

• After winning the ’92 Masters, Couples became the first American to become No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Nicknamed “Boom Boom,” Couples was a power player with one of the smoothest swings in the game. He ranks among the most popular players in his generation.

• He won PGA Tour Player of the Year awards in 1991 and ’92. He also won the Vardon Trophy for low scoring average those years.

• Has won eight Champions Tour events.

• Has captained the Americans to Presidents Cup victories in 2009 and ’11, played on five Ryder Cup teams and four Presidents Cup teams. He is also the 2013 Presidents Cup captain.

Colin Montgomerie

• With those 31 European titles, Montgomerie was a force on that tour, winning eight Order of Merit titles, including seven in a row (1993-99). No British player has won more European Tour titles.

• Montgomerie never won a major, but he came close, finishing second five times, including playoff losses to Ernie Els in the 1994 U.S. Open at Oakmont and to Steve Elkington in the 1995 PGA Championship at Riviera.

• Montgomerie played in eight Ryder Cups, helping the Euros win five of them. No European has won more Ryder Cups. Montgomerie was 20-9-7 in the matches and was never beaten in singles (6-0-2). He captained the Euros to victory in 2010 at Celtic Manor.

Willie Park Jr.

• Park won the British Open in 1887 and ’89. He’s the son of World Golf Hall of Famer Willie Park Sr., who won four British Opens, including the inaugural championship in 1860.

• A pioneer in club and ball design, Park Jr. made his mark beyond that of a player. He was also an architect and writer.

Ken Schofield

• Became the European Tour’s executive director in 1975 and reigned until 2004, a time of unprecedented growth for the tour. When Schofield came aboard, the European Tour schedule featured just 17 events. There were 45 on the schedule when he retired. He also oversaw the creation of the European Challenge Tour and the European Senior Tour.

• Schofield steered the European Tour toward global expansion, opening doors that would lead the tour to Africa and Asia. Schofield took the tour off the continent for the first time in 1982 with the start of the Tunisian Open.

Ken Venturi

• In one of the most dramatic conclusions in the history of the U.S. Open, Venturi won in 1964 at Congressional. The question was more than whether Venturi could close out the victory; it was whether he could literally survive the challenge. He overcame 100-degree temperatures and severe dehydration to win.

• Venturi won 14 PGA Tour events as a pro and nearly won one as an amateur. He is famously the only amateur to hold a 54-hole lead at the Masters. He did so in ’56, but finished second to Jackie Burke Jr.

• After carpal tunnel syndrome hastened his retirement as a player, Venturi joined CBS as an analyst in 1968. He shaped how we came to understand the sport and its stars in that role for 35 years.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

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.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

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.