Kite Headlines Hall of Fame Class

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World Golf Hall of FameSAVANNAH, Ga. -- Tom Kite, Isao Aoki, Charlie Sifford and Marlene Stewart Streit will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame later this year.
 
The inductions will take place Nov.15 at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla. This marks the 30th anniversary of the first class inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
Kite was elected on the PGA Tour ballot and is a 19-time winner on the PGA Tour, including the 1992 U.S. Open. He won the money title in both 1981 and 1989, the same year he captured the Player Championship.
 
Kite has six victories on the Champions Tour with one major title, the 2000 Tradition. He competed on seven Ryder Cup teams and was captain of the squad in 1997.
 
'I'm very, very pleased with this,' said Kite, who earned 69 percent of the vote. 'To be able to put your name up there on a very short list is quite a thrill. This has been a long-time dream.'
 
Two-time U.S. Open champion Curtis Strange finished second in the voting with 55 percent, followed by Henry Picard, who tallied 52 percent of the votes.
 
Aoki was elected on the International ballot and truly embodied international golf. He won 73 times worldwide, including 56 titles in Japan, and is the only Japanese player to have won on six different tours: PGA Tour, Champions Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Japan Senior Tour, PGA European Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia.
 
'I'm happy as can be,' said Aoki, who joined countryman Hisako 'Chako' Higuchi, who was elected last year. 'I have been doing what I love.'
 
Aoki owns nine Champions Tour titles and with his victory at the 1983 Hawaiian Open, he became the first Japanese player to win on the PGA Tour.
 
Ayako Okamoto came in second on the International ballot with 36 percent, while Jumbo Ozaki claimed 31 percent.
 
Sifford reached the Hall of Fame on the Lifetime Achievement category and was instrumental in breaking racial barriers on the PGA Tour. He became the first African American to play full-time on tour and won two titles, the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the 1969 Los Angeles Open.
 
'This is very wonderful,' said Sifford, who won the 1975 PGA Seniors Championship and was one of the original members of the Champions Tour. 'This was something I was trying to do years ago. I know I had some tough days, but it looks like everything worked out just fine.'
 
Streit was chosen in the Veterans category and is the first Canadian elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame. She is the only golfer to have won the Australian, British, Canadian and United States women's amateur championships.
 
Streit won 11 Canadian Ladies Open Amateur titles, nine Canadian Ladies Close Amateur titles and three Canadian Ladies Senior Women's Amateur tournaments. She captured four USGA events, including the 1956 U.S. Women's Amateur title. Last year she became the oldest player ever to win the U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, a title she claimed a total of three times.
 
'I'm very proud and totally overwhelmed,' said Streit. 'I love to give back to the game. This is very huge for Canada. My greatest thrill in golf has been playing for my country.'
 
Top-five finishers for both ballots:
 
PGA Tour
Tom Kite 69%
Curtis Strange 55%
Henry Picard 52%
Larry Nelson 41%
Craig Wood 40%
 
International
Isao Aoki 51%
Ayako Okamoto 36%
Jumbo Ozaki 31%
Kel Nagle 28%
Sandy Lyle 26%
 
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