ST ANDREWS, Scotland, July 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As the golf world converged on historic St Andrews for the playing of the 144th Open Championship, the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum enshrined its 2015 Induction Class today at the University of St Andrews. Bringing the total number of members to 150, the new members include: Dame Laura Davies, David Graham, Mark O'Meara and A.W. Tillinghast.
With 79 victories worldwide and four LPGA Major Championships, Davies is considered by many to be the most successful female British player of all time. Davies has represented Europe a record 12 times in the Solheim Cup, playing in every competition from 1990-2011. She was recently made a Dame by the Queen of England in the 2014 UK honors list for her services to the sport of golf.
Among his 30+ worldwide victories, Graham won the 1979 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills Country Club and the 1981 U.S. Open at Merion, making him the first Australian to win two different Major Championships. While Graham's two biggest wins were on U.S. soil, the Australian is truly an international competitor, joining fellow Hall of Fame members Hale Irwin, Bernhard Langer and Gary Player as the only players to win events on six different continents.
O'Meara established himself as one of the game's greats, when he captured both the Masters and Open Championship in 1998. In the same year, he was also named PGA TOUR Player of the Year. His myriad career highlights go beyond those two victories, starting in 1979 when he won the U.S. Amateur at Canterbury Golf Club in Cleveland. O'Meara has more than 20 victories worldwide, and has represented the United States in five Ryder Cups and two Presidents Cups, while holding 16 PGA TOUR wins.
An admirer of St Andrews and student of Old Tom Morris, Tillinghast used his knowledge to become a true pioneer of American golf. Tillinghast was a prolific architect, having worked on more than 265 different courses. Several of Tillinghast's designs are still considered among the world's best, and are used frequently for golf's Major Championships. In total, his courses have been host to 50 Major Championships. Bethpage State Park, Winged Foot, Baltusrol Golf Club, San Francisco Golf Club, Quaker Ridge and Somerset Hills are all Tillinghast designs.
For the first time, the Induction Ceremony, a biennial event, was staged outside of the United States and televised live on Golf Channel and Sky Sports in the United Kingdom.
"Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Laura, David, Mark and the family of the late A.W.," said Jack Peter, Chief Operating Officer of the Hall of Fame. "This class represents the global reach of the game and we are pleased to welcome them to the Hall of Fame family. This year's ceremony was a significant step forward for the World Golf Hall of Fame as we continue to raise the institution's global profile. We're grateful for the support of our Board organizations and the University of St Andrews for making this a truly memorable and historic event."
The 90-minute ceremony, emceed by well-known Sky television personality Diana "Di" Dougherty, was attended by 21 Hall of Fame members including: Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam, Nancy Lopez, Tony Jacklin, Bernhard Langer, Peter Thomson and Sandy Lyle among others.
First to receive the Induction Crystal, golf's highest honor, was Graham. The two-time Major winner was introduced by Hall of Fame global ambassador and friend Gary Player. During his acceptance speech, Graham became overcome with emotion reflecting on his days as a 11-year-old boy in Australia learning the game.
Davies, because of mechanical issues with her plane and other international travel logistics from Philadelphia, where she competed in the U.S. Women's Open, was unable to attend the ceremony. Former LPGA Commissioner Charlie Mechem introduced the British star and graciously accepted the honor on Davies' behalf.
Following Davies, Tillinghast, the late golf course architect, was honored with noted golf journalist John Hopkins on hand to accept the Induction Crystal on behalf of the family.
Last to take the stage was O'Meara, who was introduced by Golf Channel's Dave Marr. O'Meara, the boy from Southern California, delivered a memorable speech in which he recounted his career accomplishments and significant memories playing the game he loves.
The next Induction Ceremony will take place in 2017 at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida, which will be held the Monday of THE PLAYERS Championship week. The Class of 2017 will be announced in 2016.
In 2019, the Induction Ceremony will move to Pebble Beach, Calif., and be staged on Monday of U.S. Open Championship week.
For more information on the World Golf Hall of Fame or to view detailed biographies of the 2015 Induction Class, visit WorldGolfHallofFame.org.
About the World Golf Hall of Fame 2015 Induction Sponsors
Shell Oil Company
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. For more information, go to www.Shell.com.
Leading brand of the Swiss watch industry, Rolex, headquartered in Geneva, enjoys an unrivalled reputation for quality and expertise the world over. Its Oyster watches, all certified as chronometers for their precision, are symbols of excellence, performance and prestige. Pioneer in the development of the wristwatch as early as 1905, the brand is at the origin of numerous major watchmaking innovations, such as the Oyster, the first waterproof wristwatch, launched in 1926, and the Perpetual rotor self-winding mechanism introduced in 1931. Rolex has registered more than 400 patents in the course of its history. A truly integrated manufacturing company, Rolex designs, develops and produces in-house all the essential components of its watches, from the casting of the gold alloys to the machining, crafting, assembly and finishing of the movement, case, dial and bracelet. Rolex is also actively involved in supporting the arts, exploration, sports, the spirit of enterprise, and the environment through a broad palette of sponsoring activities as well as philanthropic programs. For more information, visit www.Rolex.com.
About the World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum
The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum preserves and honors the history of golf and the legacies of those who have made it great. The Hall of Fame & 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.
SOURCE World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum