Samuel Henry “Errie” Ball, the last surviving player from the first Masters Tournament, was one of seven people inducted Wednesday night into the PGA Golf Professional Hall of Fame in Port St. Lucie, Fla.
Ball, 100, of Stuart, Fla., was joined by PGA Honorary President Jim Remy of Ludlow, Vt.; former PGA Chief Executive Officer Jim Awtrey of Windermere, Fla.; three past PGA teachers of the year – Jim Flick of Carlsbad, Calif., Jim Antkiewicz, of Aliquippa, Pa., and Jack Barber of Indianapolis, Ind. – and “Mr. New Mexico Golf,” Guy Wimberly of Elephant Butte, N.M.
“It’s the greatest honor I’ve ever received,” said Ball, who will turn 101 on Nov. 14. A native of Wales, in 1934 he was part of the inaugural field of what would become known as the Masters.
Ball was accompanied at Wednesday’s ceremony by Maxie, his wife of 75 years.
“This is the best thing that has happened to him since I’ve known him,” said Maxie Ball, 96. “Not too many things excite him anymore, but this certainly did. We both love the game and it is one of the nicest things a couple can do together.”
With the latest additions, the Hall of Fame has inducted 148 members since its inception in 1940.