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:
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.