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October 07, 2013

World Golf Hall of Fame cancels 2014 induction ceremony

Posted at 5:22 PM by Josh Sens | Categories: World Golf Hall of Fame
Fred Couples

Scrap the acceptance speeches and call off the engraver. There will be no Hall of Fame inductees in 2014.

Citing the need for a "comprehensive review" of its selection process, the World Golf Hall of Fame announced today that it was cancelling its 2014 induction ceremony. In a prepared statement, Hall of Fame officials said that they have launched "an evaluation of the criteria and process for electing/selecting all five avenues of induction and a review of the production of the annual Induction Ceremony."

Because that process "takes several months and includes the coordination of the game's professional tours, governing bodies and allied organizations," the statement said, Hall officials thought it best to forgo the 2014 ceremony.

The 2015 ceremony will continue as planned, on May 4, 2015, the statement said.

Under the Hall of Fame's current guidelines, a PGA Tour player must be at least 40 years old and have 10 years of Tour membership under his belt to be eligible for induction. He must also have one of the following: 10 Tour wins; two major titles; or two Players Championship wins. Election requires 65 percent of ballots cast by a panel of golf journalists, historians and golf dignitaries. If no nominee receives 65 percent of the vote, the candidate receiving the most votes over 50 percent is elected.

Earlier this year, the Hall of Fame took heat for what some critics described as the relative weakness of its 2013 class, which included Fred Couples (above) and Colin Montgomerie. Raymond Floyd, a four-time major winner and Hall of Fame member since 1989, was among those who complained. "The bar has been lowered," Floyd told Golf Magazine in March. "Guys get voted into the Hall of Fame who don't belong, who lack the numbers. I'm very upset at the Hall of Fame for that. It's not fair to the people who went in early."

Floyd didn't name names. But perhaps he didn't have to.

"Just look at the inductees over the last six, eight, 10 years. Some years, I don't even vote because the names are not worthy of induction. One major should not get you into the Hall of Fame---maybe one major and 40 wins. I'm not gonna pick a guy with one major and 11 wins."

Montgomerie has never won a major. Couples has one major at 15 Tour wins.

According to Hall of Fame spokesperson Travis Hill, it's too early to tell which, if any, of the Hall's current eligibility requirements will change.

"(This review) is not a reaction to any one thing," Hill said. "It is simply a response to a lot of different questions that have bubbled up." Hill added that the Hall of Fame would announce any changes to its criteria in early 2014, when the review process is expected to be completed.

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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