Casting My Unofficial HOF Ballot

By Mercer BaggsJanuary 23, 2007, 5:00 pm
There is a reason I dont get a vote for election into the World Golf Hall of Fame: Im in my early 30s and have been in the golf journalism business for just over a decade.
Because Im only first-hand familiar with players dating back to the 80s, it would probably be unfair for me to vote for or deny a vote to someone like Henry Picard or Doug Ford or even Lanny Wadkins.
Therefore, Ill cast my unofficial ballot with consideration given to those whose careers Ive actually followed over the years.
Side note: players fall off the PGA TOUR ballot if they do not receive at least five percent of the returned vote in two consecutive years. That's why the current ballot has only 20 players on it instead of many more. A player can remain on the ballot for up to 15 years.
Curtis Strange
Curtis StrangeResume: Strange won 17 times on TOUR, including back-to-back U.S. Open titles (something only five other players have ever done). He also led the money list three times, won one PGA Player of the Year award, and was a part of six Ryder Cup teams as a player or captain.
Vote: Yes. If Ben Crenshaw is in the Hall, then so, too, should be Strange. The only reason he's not is is because voters don't like Strange, as a person, as much as Crenshaw.
Fred Couples
Fred CouplesResume: Couples has 15 TOUR wins, including the 1992 Masters Tournament and two PLAYERS Championship titles. He led the money list in 92 and is a two-time PGA TOUR Player of the Year. He has been a member of five Ryder Cup and four Presidents Cup teams, and was the No. 1 player in the world for a total of 16 weeks. He also has five International victories.
Vote: No. Couples was a great player, but he needs to win at least one more major to gain entry into the Hall. Had he made a few more putts last year at Augusta, he'd be a lock.
Davis Love III
Davis Love IIIResume: Love has 19 PGA TOUR wins, including the 1997 PGA Championship and two PLAYERS Championship titles. He has played on six Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup teams apiece. He has one International victory.
Vote: No. Love has never topped the money list or won a Player of the Year award. He, like his buddy Couples, needs to win another major ' or, at the very least, try to get around the 25-win plateau.
Mark OMeara
Mark OResume: OMeara won 16 TOUR events, including the Masters and Open Championship in 1998, a year in which he also earned Player of the Year honors. He was the 1981 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year and has been a member of five Ryder Cup and two Presidents Cup teams.
Vote: No. OMeara has only finished inside the top 10 on the money list six times in his 26-year career. He was a very good player, but even his two majors dont make him Hall worthy.
John Daly
John DalyResume: Daly has won five TOUR events, including the 1991 PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship. He has four International victories.
Vote: No. Daly received 3 percent of the returned vote a year ago. That 3 percent should lose their voting rights.
David Toms
David TomsResume: Toms has 11 TOUR wins, including the 2001 PGA Championship. He has been a member of three Ryder Cup and two Presidents Cup teams.
Vote: No. Considering how truly difficult it is in the Tiger Woods era to win a money title or Player of the Year award, Toms will likely need to get around 20 wins with two majors to earn serious consideration ' or continue winning on an annual basis and get three majors. He just turned 40, so its not entirely impossible. Just unlikely.
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