Quartet to Be Ushered into Hall of Fame

By Golf Channel NewsroomNovember 10, 2004, 5:00 pm
Editor's Note:. The Golf Channel will devote a full night of programming to this year's Hall of Fame inductions Monday Nov. 15. The induction ceremony will air on TGC beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.
Ben Crenshaw has been inducted. Teacher Harvey Penick has been inducted. But someone was absent from the Austin bunch, an oversight that has now been corrected.
Now Tom Kite can take his place amongst golf royalty. He will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame Nov. 15, alongside Isao Aoki, Charlie Sifford and Marlene Stewart Streit.
In my opinion, those two people (Crenshaw and Penick) have done so much for the game and handled themselves so perfectly throughout their lives that to be able to just follow in their footsteps is incredible, said Kite. When Ben and Mr. Penick got inducted two years ago, I was - you know in the back of my mind I was sitting there thinking, Gosh, I would give anything to have my name put on that list with them. And here, it is going to happen. So I am very pleased.
This year marks the 30-year anniversary since the first class of inductees was sworn in. In addition to featuring this year's class, the induction ceremony (TGC, Nov. 15 at 8:00 p.m. ET) will provide a look back at that first class inducted in 1974, including a tribute to Arnold Palmer. Exhibits that recognize the personal and professional achievements of the inductees will open in the Hall of Fame that day, as will an exhibit chronicling Palmer's life and career.
Sifford had given up on receiving the honor, since he had reached 82 years of age. But many golfers helped keep alive his memory.
Gary Player, Lee Trevino, Ben Crenshaw, Hale Irwin, there's so many great players, I've been around them for 25, 30 years, and I've been up in there, said Sifford.
These are great guys. As long as I've been on the tour, all of them have treated me as I was one of those. I didn't have the game that they had, but I had the determination. I wanted to be in the Hall of Fame, that's what I started out to be, and I'm so proud they selected me and gave me this honor.
Aoki, likewise, was nearly speechless when he heard of the honor.
This is a big surprise and joy, he said. I am happy and happy - I have been doing what I love since I started. I want to thank my caddie and talented people like (Shigeki) Maruyama who have helped me and are doing great on the PGA Tour.
Streit is the first Canadian elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame, though she also won numerous championships in the United States.
I've played golf all my life for the love of the game, she said. I love to give back to the game and the young people in Canada, and this is very huge for Canada. I'm just proud. My greatest thrill in golf has been playing for my country.
JoAnne Carner will be on hand to introduce Streit; Ben Crenshaw will present Kite; Greg Norman will bring in Aoki; and Gary Player will welcome Sifford.
Additional Hall of Fame members planning to be in attendance for this year's ceremony are Amy Alcott, Judy Bell, Deane Beman, Patty Berg, Sir Michael Bonallack, Pat Bradley, Donna Caponi, Beth Daniel, Sandra Haynie, Tony Jacklin, Carol Mann, Arnold Palmer, Nick Price, Louise Suggs and Kathy Whitworth. Golf Channel commentator Jim Kelly will serve as the show host. The Golf Channel will air the induction ceremonies at 8:00 p.m. ET on Monday.
The following are the careers in brief of the four inductees:
ISAO AOKI: Elected on the International ballot, Aoki will become the second Japanese member of the Hall of Fame. Capturing 73 career victories, including 56 on his home circuit in Japan, Aoki 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.
Aoki was Japan's leading money winner five times and his 1983 Hawaiian Open victory was secured when he holed a 128-yard wedge shot for eagle-3 on the final hole - was the first PGA Tour win by a Japanese player. Aoki finished second at the 1980 U.S. Open and is a four-time winner of the Japan Senior Open. He is the winner of nine Champions Tour titles.
TOM KITE: Elected on the PGA Tour ballot, Tom Kite, a native of Austin, Texas, has 19 PGA Tour victories, including the 1992 U.S. Open and 1989 Players Championship. Seventeen of his 19 tour titles came between 1981 and 1993, and he has captured six Champions Tour titles, including the 2000 JELD-WEN Tradition. Kite has been a member of seven U.S. Ryder Cup teams and was team captain in 1997. He was the recipient of the USGA's Bob Jones award in 1979.
CHARLIE SIFFORD: Charlie Sifford was selected in the Lifetime Achievement category. Raised in Charlotte, N.C., he was instrumental in breaking the race barrier in professional golf when he became the first African-American to play full-time on the PGA Tour in 1961. Sifford won two PGA Tour tournaments: the 1967 Greater Hartford Open and the 1969 Los Angeles Open. He won the 1975 PGA Seniors' Championship and in 1980, as an original member of the Champions Tour, won the Suntree Classic. With Hall of Fame member Roberto DeVicenzo, he won three Legendary Division titles at Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf.
MARLENE STEWART STREIT: Selected in the Veteran's category, Marlene Stewart Streit's career has spanned six decades. She will become the first Canadian to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Streit 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 has also won four USGA events, including the 1956 U.S. Women's Amateur. In 2003, she captured her third U.S. Senior Women's Amateur, becoming the oldest person to ever win the tournament.
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    Four players vying for DJ's No. 1 ranking at Open

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 8:41 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Four players have an opportunity to overtake Dustin Johnson for world No. 1 this week.

    According to Golf Channel world-rankings guru Alan Robinson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm each can grab the top spot in the world ranking.

    Thomas’ path is the easiest. He would return to No. 1 with either a win and Johnson finishing worse than solo third, or even a solo runner-up finish as long as Johnson finishes worse than 49th.

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Twenty years after his auspicious performance in The Open, Rose can get to No. 1 for the first time with a victory and Johnson finishing worse than a two-way tie for third.

    Kopeka can rise to No. 1 if he wins consecutive majors, assuming that his good friend posts worse than a three-way tie for third.

    And Rahm can claim the top spot with a win this week, a Johnson missed cut and a Thomas finish of worse than solo second.   

    Johnson’s 15-month reign as world No. 1 ended after The Players. He wasn’t behind Thomas for long, however: After a tie for eighth at the Memorial, Johnson blew away the field in Memphis and then finished third at the U.S. Open to solidify his position at the top.

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    Punch shot: Predictions for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 18, 2018, 4:00 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – In advance of the 147th Open Championship, GolfChannel.com writers sound off on burning questions as players ready for a fast and firm test at Carnoustie. Here’s what our writers think about myriad topics:

    The Monday morning headline will be …

    REX HOGGARD: “Survival.” This one is easy. It always is at Carnoustie, which is widely considered The Open’s most demanding major championship test. Monday’s headline will be that the champion - pick a champion, any one will do - “survived” another dramatic Open. You don’t dominate Carnoustie; you endure.

    RYAN LAVNER: “DJ Bashes Way to Victory at Carnoustie.” If somehow a two-win season could be disappointing, it has been for DJ. He’s first in scoring average, birdie average, par-4 scoring, par-5 scoring, strokes gained: tee to green and proximity from the rough. Those last two stats are the most important, especially here at Carnoustie, with these dry conditions. The game’s preeminent long-and-straight driver, there’s a better-than-decent chance he rolls.

    MERCER BAGGS: “Rahm Tough: Spaniard charges to Open victory.” Jon Rahm will claim him maiden major title this week by powering his way through the winds and fescue at Carnoustie.

    JAY COFFIN: “Thomas wins second major, ascends to world No. 1 again.” Shortly after The Open last year, Thomas rolled through the end of the PGA Tour season. This is the time of year he likes best. Despite a poor Open record the last two years, he’s not remotely concerned. He’s a tad miffed he didn’t win in France two weeks ago and comes to Carnoustie refreshed, with a gameplan, and ready to pounce.

    Who or what will be the biggest surprise?

    HOGGARD: Style of play. Given Carnoustie’s reputation as a brute, the surprise will be how the champion arrives at his lofty perch. Unlike previous editions at Carnoustie, this week’s dry conditions will promote more aggressive play off the tee and the winner will defy the norm and power his way to victory.

    LAVNER: Tiger Woods. This is Woods’ best chance to win a major this year, and here’s believing he contends. His greatest strengths are his iron game and scrambling, and both aspects will be tested to the extreme at Carnoustie, helping separate him from some of the pretenders. With even a little cooperation from his putter, he should be in the mix.

    BAGGS: Padraig Harrington. He had a good opening round last week at the Scottish Open and has some good vibes being the 2007 Open champion at Carnoustie. He won’t contend for four rounds, but a few days in the mix would be a nice surprise.

    COFFIN: Alex Noren. Perhaps someone ranked 11th in the world shouldn’t be a surprise, but with so much focus on some of the bigger, household names, don’t be surprised when Noren is in contention on Sunday. He hasn’t finished worse than 25th since early May and won two weeks ago in France. He also tied for sixth place last year at Royal Birkdale.

    Who or what will be the biggest disappointment?

    HOGGARD: Jordan Spieth. Although he was brilliant on his way to victory last year at Royal Birkdale, Spieth is not the same player for this week’s championship, the byproduct of a balky putter that has eroded his confidence. Spieth said giving back the claret jug this week was hard, but his finish will be even tougher.

    LAVNER: Weather. This might sound a little sadistic, but one of the unique joys of covering this tournament is to watch the best in the world battle conditions they face only once a year – the bone-chilling cold, the sideways rain, the howling wind. It doesn’t appear as though that’ll happen this year. With only a few hours of light rain expected, and no crazy winds in the forecast, the biggest challenge for these stars will be judging the bounces on the hard, baked-out turf.

    BAGGS: Jordan Spieth. The defending champion is still trying to find his winning form and Carnoustie doesn’t seem the place to do that. As much as he says he loves playing in strong winds, there should be enough danger around here to frustrate Spieth into a missed cut.

    COFFIN: Rory McIlroy. I hope I’m wrong on this, because the game is better when Rory is in contention at majors. Putting always has been his issue and seemingly always will be. While there isn’t as much of a premium placed on putting this week because of slower greens, he may still have to hit it close. Super close.

    What will be the winning score?

    HOGGARD: 10 under. The last two Opens played at Carnoustie were won with 7-under and 6-over totals, but this week’s conditions will favor more aggressive play and lower scores. Expect to see plenty of birdies, but the great equalizer will come on Sunday when wind gusts are forecast to reach 25 mph.

    LAVNER: 15 under. An Open at Carnoustie has never produced a winner lower than 9 under (Tom Watson in 1975), but never have the conditions been this susceptible to low scores. Sure, the fairway bunkers are still a one-shot penalty, but today’s big hitters can fly them. The thin, wispy rough isn’t much of a deterrent. And the wind isn’t expected to really whip until the final day.

    BAGGS: 12 under. We aren’t going to see the same kind of weather we have previously witnessed at Carnoustie, and that’s a shame. Any players who catch relatively benign conditions should be able to go low, as long as they can properly navigate the fairway rollout.

    COFFIN: 14 under. Walked into a local golf shop in the town of Carnoustie wearing a Golf Channel logo and the man behind the counter said, “It’ll take 14 under to win this week.” Well, he’s been here for years and seen Carnoustie host The Open twice before. He knows more about it than I do, so I’ll stick with his number.

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    Watch: Na plays backwards flop and practices lefty

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 18, 2018, 3:16 pm

    Fresh off his victory at The Greenbrier, Kevin Na is taking a quite-literally-backwards approach to his Open prep.

    Caddie Kenny Harms has been sharing videos of Na's early work at Carnoustie.

    This one shows Na standing in a bunker and playing a flop shot over his own head (as opposed to someone else's):

    While it's unlikely he'll have a need for that exact shot this week, it's far more likely a player may have to think about turning his club over and playing from the wrong side of the ball, like so:

    Na has made 4 of 6 cuts at The Open and will look to improve on his best career finish, currently a T-22 in 2016 at Royal Troon.

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    McIlroy growing 'comfortable' on Open courses

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 18, 2018, 1:45 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – For a player who once complained about the vagaries of links golf, Rory McIlroy enters this Open with a dazzling record in the sport’s oldest championship.

    Though he missed the 2015 event because of an ankle injury, McIlroy has now posted three consecutive top-5 finishes in the year’s third major.

    “It’s surprising a little bit that my best form in major championships has been this tournament,” he said Wednesday, “but at the same time I’ve grown up these courses, and I’m comfortable on them. I think going to courses on The Open rota that I’ve played quite a lot. I think that helps. You have a comfort level with the golf course, and you’ve built up enough experience to know where to hit and where not to hit it.”

    Full-field tee times from the 147th Open Championship

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    McIlroy still regrets what happened in 2015, when he “did something slightly silly” and injured his ankle while playing soccer a few weeks before the event. That came a year after he triumphed at Royal Liverpool.

    “Since 2010, I couldn’t wait to play The Open at St. Andrews,” he said. “I thought that was one of my best chances to win a major.”

    He tied for 42nd at Carnoustie in 2007, earning low-amateur honors.