Ford bypassed again by HOF

By Randall MellApril 23, 2009, 4:00 pm
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World Golf Hall of FameDoug Ford wasnt a great driver of the ball, but he was one of the straightest shooters who ever played the PGA Tour.
 
In other words, he didnt mince words.
 
Its what people grew to love and loathe about the best (eligible) player who isnt in the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 
At 86, Ford watched yet another Hall of Fame announcement pass Thursday without his election. He doesnt understand why, and he took dead aim explaining how he feels as if hes being excluded.
 
Ill put my record up against just about anyones in the hall, Ford said in a telephone interview from his home in Gulf Stream, Fla. I think I have a hell of a record. I dont know what theyre looking for. I dont know what the knock on me is, but Im just not that enthused about it anymore. If they dont appreciate what Ive done, I cant do anything about it.
 
Lanny Wadkins was the only World Golf Hall of Fame inductee announced Thursday, but Ford gained some momentum toward eventual induction.
 
Wadkins was named by 61 percent of the voters. That Ford is the best (eligible) player not in the Hall of Fame is evident in the fact that he finished second in this years voting. He was named on 46 percent of the ballots with Mark OMeara next on 31 percent. Last year, Ford was named on just 35 percent.
 
Still, Ford wonders if hell die before he gets in.
 
If they ever select me, I might not accept, because of the way theyve handled this, Ford said. My two boys think I should, but I dont know. If I do (get selected), well see.
 
That feisty, combative nature is integral to what made Ford one of the best players of the 50s, an era that included Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Julius Boros, Cary Middlecoff and Arnold Palmer. That nature also might be what cost Ford a quick induction.
 
With two major championships among his 19 PGA Tour victories, Ford was inducted into the PGA Hall of Fame in 1975. He was selected by a vote of his peers. When the PGA Hall of Fame merged with the World Golf Hall of Fame in the 80s, only the PGA inductees with dual member standing were brought into the World Golf Hall of Fame. Ford wasnt one of them.
 
Bob Goalby, the 1968 Masters winner and a good friend to Ford, thinks Fords combative nature might have hurt him after the halls were merged. Ford was a member of a number of PGA Tour player committees and was forever waging battles with the Tour.
 
The way I look at it, Im already a Hall of Famer, Ford said. The players voted you into the PGA Hall of Fame. They knew your record and what golf was all about. I dont even know who votes today.
 
There are two ways Ford could be voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, through a vote by the World Golf Hall of Fames PGA Tour Voting Body or through the Veterans Category.
 
The PGA Tour Voting Body is made up of more than 200 journalists, historians and golf dignitaries. Election requires being named on 65 percent of the returned ballots, or in the event nobody garners that many votes, to be the leading vote getter while appearing on at least 50 percent of the ballots.
 
To make it through the Veterans Category, Ford would have to be selected by members of the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors Selection Committee, a body made up of representatives of seven major golf organizations (Augusta National, European Tour, LPGA, PGA Tour, PGA, the R&A and the USGA).
 
Its always been a mystery to us why dads not in the Hall of Fame, said Doug Ford Jr., a golf teacher at Deer Creek Country Club in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Dads credited with 19 PGA Tour victories, two majors and being on four Ryder Cup teams. That should speak for itself. When you look at players who have gone in recently, their record is not as good as dads, some arent event close. Im not saying those players shouldnt be in, just that dads very deserving.'
 
Tom Kite was elected despite fewer majors (1) and fewer PGA Tour victories (18) than Ford. So was Tommy Bolt (1 major, 15 PGA Tour titles). Bob Charles and Gene Littler made the Hall of Fame with just a single major and Chi Chi Rodriguez without a major.
 
Goalby said Fords battles with the tour couldnt have helped his cause.
 
Its a travesty Dougs not in, Goalby said. Evidently, he alienated some people. Doug grew up in New York. He never gave anybody any quarter. He had to be the first on the bus, the first to get off, the first to pick up his check. Its the way he grew up in New York, but he was respected by his peers. He was always fighting the tour for the underdog. I think his being outspoken hurt him.
 
Goalby said the fact that Ford played long past his prime, especially while posting high scores at the Masters, may have hurt his chances of election in later years.
 
People who didnt know how great he was saw him play after his game slipped, Goalby said.
 
In his prime, Ford won with grit and guts and a fabulous short game. He won the 1955 PGA Championship, beating Middlecoff in the match play final, and the 57 Masters, coming from behind in the final round to beat Snead.
 
Its a disgrace Doug isnt in the Hall of Fame, said Al Besselink, a seven-time PGA Tour winner from Fords era. Doug was very stubborn, very honest, and he was never going to kiss anyones butt to get in the Hall of Fame, but I thought he was a wonderful guy who was unbelievable under pressure. He was a magician around the greens. He could get up and down from a ball washer.
 
Besselink and Goalby hope Fords skill will be remembered one year soon in the Hall of Fame.
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DJ triples last hole, opens with 76 at Open

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 19, 2018, 6:18 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Dustin Johnson’s chances of winning The Open are likely already over.

The world No. 1 hit his tee shot out of bounds on 18 on his way to a triple bogey, capping a miserable day that left him with a 5-over 76, 10 shots off the lead and in danger of missing the cut.

Johnson didn’t talk to reporters afterward, but there wasn’t much to discuss.

He didn’t make a birdie until the par-5 14th, bogeyed 16 and then made 7 on Carnoustie's home hole when his tee shot caromed out of bounds left.

Johnson has missed the cut only once in nine previous appearances at The Open – in his first try in 2009.

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'The Golf Club 2019' adds Elvy to commentary team

By Nick MentaJuly 19, 2018, 4:45 pm

“The Golf Club 2019” is adding a new name to its commentary team.

Broadcaster Luke Elvy will join returning announcer and HB Studios developer John McCarthy for the title's third installment.

Golf fans will recognize Elvy from his recent work with CBS in addition to his time with Sky Sports, FOX Sports, TNT, PGA Tour Live and PGA Tour Radio.

A 25-year media veteran from Australia, he now works in the United States and lives with his family in Canada.

"Ian Baker-Finch was my right-hand man on Australian televison," Elvy told GolfChannel.com in an interview at the Quicken Loans National. "And Finchy said to me, 'What are you doing here? You should be with me in the States.’ He introduced me to a few people over here and that's how the transition has happened over the last five or six years."

Elvy didn't have any prior relationship with HB Studios, who reached out to him via his management at CAA. As for why he got the job, he pseudo-jokes: "They heard the accent, and said, 'We like that. That works for us. Let's go.' That's literally how it happened."

He participated in two separate recording sessions over three days, first at his home back in February and then at the HB Studios shortly after The Players Championship. He teased his involvement when the game was announced in May.

Although he doesn't describe himself as a "gamer," Elvy lauded the game's immediate playability, even for a novice.

“It’s exactly how you’d want golf to be,” he said.

"The Golf Club 2019" will be the first in the HB series to feature PGA Tour branding. The Tour had previously licensed its video game rights to EA Sports.

In addition to a career mode that will take players from the Web.com Tour all the way through the FedExCup Playoffs, "The Golf Club 2019" will also feature at launch replicas of six TPC courses played annually on Tour – TPC Summerlin (Shriners Hospitals for Children Open), TPC Scottsdale's Stadium Course (Waste Management Phoenix Open), TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course (The Players Championship), TPC Southwind (FedEx St. Jude Classic/WGC-FedEx St. Jude Championship), TPC Deere Run (John Deere Classic), and TPC Boston (Dell Technologies Championship).

“I played nine holes at Scottsdale,” Elvy added. “It’s a very close comparison. Visually, it’s very realistic."

The Golf Club 2019 is due out this August on PlayStation 4, XBOX One, and PC.

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Expired visa, helicopter, odd clubs all part of Vegas' journey

By Ryan LavnerJuly 19, 2018, 3:48 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Jhonattan Vegas thought someone was playing a practical joke on him.

Or maybe he was stuck in the middle of a horror movie.

Scheduled to leave for The Open a week ago, he didn’t arrive at Carnoustie until a little more than an hour before his first-round tee time Thursday.

“Even if somebody tried to do that on purpose,” he said, “you couldn’t really do it.”

The problem was an expired visa.

Vegas said that he must have gotten confused by the transposed date on the visa – “Guessing I’ve been living in America too long” – and assumed that he was cleared to travel.

No problem, he was told. He’d have a new visa in 24 hours.


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Except the consulate in New York didn’t respond to his application the next day, keeping him in limbo through the weekend. Then, on Monday, he was told that he’d applied for the wrong visa. UPS got shut down in New York and his visa never left, so Vegas waited in vain for seven hours in front of the consulate in Houston. He finally secured his visa on Wednesday morning, boarded a flight from Houston to Toronto, and then flew to Glasgow, the final leg of a 14-hour journey.

His agent arranged a helicopter ride from Glasgow to Carnoustie to ensure that he could make his 10:31 a.m. (local) tee time.

One more issue? His clubs never made it. They were left back in Toronto.

His caddie, Ruben Yorio, scrambled to put together a new bag, with a mismatched set of woods, irons, wedges and putter.

“Luckily the (equipment) vans are still here,” Vegas said. “Otherwise I probably would have played with members’ clubs today.”

He hit about 20 balls on the range – “Luckily they were going forward” – but Carnoustie is one of the most challenging links in the world, and Vegas was working off of two hours’ sleep and without his own custom-built clubs. He shot 76 but, hey, at least he tried.

“It was fun,” he said, “even though the journey was frustrating.”

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'Brain fart' leads to Spieth's late collapse

By Rex HoggardJuly 19, 2018, 2:44 pm

CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – The closing stretch at Carnoustie has famously ruined many a solid round, so Jordan Spieth’s misadventures on Thursday should not have been a complete surprise, but the truth is the defending champion’s miscues were very much self-inflicted.

Spieth was cruising along at 3 under par, just two shots off the early lead, when he made a combination of errors at the par-4 15th hole. He hit the wrong club off the tee (4-iron) and the wrong club for his approach (6-iron) on his way to a double bogey-6.

“The problem was on the second shot, I should have hit enough club to reach the front of the green, and even if it goes 20 yards over the green, it's an easy up-and-down,” Spieth said. “I just had a brain fart, and I missed it into the location where the only pot bunker where I could actually get in trouble, and it plugged deep into it. It was a really, really poor decision on the second shot, and that cost me.”


Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship


Spieth continued to compound his problems with a sloppy bogey at the 16th hole, and a drive that sailed left at 18 found the Barry Burn en route to a closing bogey and a 1-over 72.

The miscues were more mental, a lack of execution, than they were an example of how difficult the closing stretch at Carnoustie can be, and that’s not good enough for Spieth.

“That's what I would consider as a significant advantage for me is recognizing where the misses are,” said Spieth, who was tied for 68th when he completed his round. “It felt like a missed opportunity.”