He joins Jackie Burke, Jr., in 2000 as players elected through that process.
Its unbelievable. Im so delighted. Its pretty hard to explain (my feelings), believe me, said the 86-year-old.
Bolt will join Ben Crenshaw, elected on the 2002 PGA Tour ballot, Tony Jacklin, elected on the 2002 International ballot, Bernhard Langer, elected on the 2001 International ballot, and Marlene Haggee, selected in the LPGA Veterans Category, for the Nov. 15 induction ceremony at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.
Beyond his direct competitive record, theres two other things that stand out, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said of Bolt. One is, he is clearly recognized as one of the greatest personalities to have played the gameBut also, his very direct contribution to the start of the Senior Tour, with his playing in the very beginning of the Liberty Mutual of Legends and lending his unique character to the Senior Tour in its early years.
The Veterans committee selects players whose performances and contributions to the game took place primarily before the 1960s.
Bolt won 15 times on the PGA Tour, including the 1958 U.S. Open at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Okla. However, he was most known for his temper. He was dubbed Terrible Tommy.
I threw a couple of clubs, Im human just like the other guys, Bolt said in a Wednesday teleconference. But I threw them at the most opportune times, it seemed like. They always had the camera on me when I threw them.
Rival Ben Hogan once said: If we could have screwed another head on his shoulders, Tommy Bolt could have been the greatest who ever played.
Though he will always be remembered for his emotional outbursts, Bolt will also be forever acknowledged as a major champion.
Its nice to be known for something other than throwing clubs, he said.
Bolt led from start to finish in the 58 Open. I birdied the first hole and looked back towards the clubhouse and said I wonder who is going to finish second, he remarked.
The answer was Gary Player, who finished four strokes back.
At Southern Hills, I was probably playing better golf than anybody in the world, at the time, Bolt said. I had complete control of my swing and my emotions.
Asked how he thought he would fare against todays competition, Bolt modestly responded: Id probably be one of the better players. I wouldnt be the best, but Id probably be one of the better players.
Bolt currently resides at the Black Diamond Ranch in Lecanto, Fla. He said he plays most every day, though he takes it nine holes at a time. Playing in the afternoon reminds him of his late-round tee times when he was among the leaders in a tour event.
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