World Golf Hall of Fame inducts Class of 2011
Ernie Els, former President George H.W. Bush among Inductees
St. Augustine, Fla. (May 9, 2011) - Three-time major winner Ernie Els, former President George H. W. Bush, 19-time PGA TOUR victor Doug Ford, Japan's Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki, the late Frank Chirkinian and the late Jock Hutchison are being inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum today.
The Ceremony is at 6 p.m. in the St. Johns County Convention Center, located adjacent to the World Golf Hall of Fame at World Golf Village. The Ceremony, which for the first time is being held Monday of THE PLAYERS Championship week, will air on Golf Channel at 9:30 p.m. EST.
"This is a special night," said World Golf Hall of Fame Chief Operating Officer Jack Peter. "The Class of 2011 comes from South Africa, Japan, the United States and Scotland. The global nature of this wonderful Class embodies so much of what the World Golf Hall of Fame stands for. We are thrilled to welcome all of them into the Hall of Fame family."
One of the headliners is Ernie Els, who was inducted through the PGA TOUR ballot and has won more than 60 tournaments worldwide. He has been a fixture on the PGA TOUR, the European Tour and on six Presidents Cup teams. Els will be on hand Monday night to accept his induction, presented by South African Tour Chairman Johann Rupert.
"I can think of no more worthy candidate than Ernie to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame," said George O'Grady, Chief Executive of The European Tour, speaking as Chairman of the World Golf Foundation. "He joins two South African legends of the game in Bobby Locke and Gary Player, which is testament to his immense ability, his superb achievements and the wonderful example he has set to all in the field of golf and, indeed, the world of sports."
Doug Ford, winner of the 1957 Masters, will also be on hand at the Ceremony. He will be presented by fellow Masters champion Bob Goalby. Ford, who was inducted through the Veterans Category, won 19 PGA TOUR events during his career and participated on four Ryder Cup teams.
President Bush will become the second president inducted in the Hall of Fame, inducted through the Lifetime Achievement Category. He is unable to attend the Ceremony due a scheduling conflict, but will be presented by longtime CBS lead golf broadcaster Jim Nantz and accept his Induction in a pre-recorded address. Bush is the original Honorary Chairman of The First Tee and the Presidents Cup, as well as the recipient of the 1997 PGA of America Distinguished Service Award.
The late Frank Chirkinian is known throughout golf and broadcasting circles as "the father of televised golf." From 1959-1996, Chirkinian was the executive producer for golf on CBS and led its Masters coverage. Chirkinian, who was inducted through the Lifetime Achievement Category, is responsible for myriad innovations, including the installation of a camera on a blimp and adding microphones to tee boxes.
The late Jock Hutchison was inducted through the Veterans Category. Hutchison combined with Jim Barnes and Walter Hagen to form the "American Triumvirate" during the 1910s and 20s. Hutchison is perhaps most famous for becoming the first U.S.-based player to win the Open Championship in 1921.
Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki is a Japanese legend who has won more than 100 times worldwide. Ozaki, who was inducted through the International ballot, led the Japan Golf Tour money list 12 times. Ozaki could not make the Ceremony due to back issues and the recent events in Japan.
Each Inductee has donated memorabilia from their standout career, which has been built into special Inductee exhibits at the Hall of Fame. Each Inductee will receive a case in Shell Hall and a permanent space in the Member Locker Room. The exhibits will be open to the public on May 10.
For more information about the World Golf Hall of Fame, the upcoming Induction Ceremony or to learn more about the 2011 Class of Inductees, visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org
About the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum
The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum honors the history of golf by recognizing and preserving the legacies of the game's greatest players and contributors. The Hall of Fame and Museum, located at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., serves as a steward of the game through engaging, interactive storytelling and exhibitions featuring artifacts, works of art, audio, video and photography significant to the history of golf and its members.
The Hall of Fame is a 501(c)3 nonprofit institution and is allied with 26 national and international golf organizations, including The European Tour, LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA TOUR, The R&A and USGA. To learn more about the Hall of Fame or to lend support, visit www.WorldGolfHallofFame.org.
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As the Founding Partner of the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum and World Golf Village, Shell Oil Company played a lead role in supporting the development and growth of the institution, which opened in 1998. Since then, their continued involvement has led the way for others to join in support of the Hall of Fame & Museum's mission.