Lanny Wadkins Voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame

Lanny WadkinsSAVANNAH, Ga. - Winner of the 1977 PGA Championship at Pebble Beach, and a total of 21 PGA Tour events, Lanny Wadkins has been elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame and will be inducted in St. Augustine as part of the Class of 2009 on Nov. 2.

Wadkins received 61 percent of the vote through the PGA Tour Ballot returned by a distinguished group of Hall of Fame members, golf writers, historians and golf dignitaries from around the world.

The announcement was made Thursday at the Westin Savannah Harbor Resort site of the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf. Wadkins is in town to compete in the team-themed Champions Tour event; he'll tee off Friday with his brother Bobby.

"I am honored and pleased to be a part of such a prestigious group," said Wadkins. "I never expected to wind up in the Hall of Fame when I started playing golf. I played for the love of the game and to compete to win. This honor is the culmination of a lot of fun, which I had throughout my career. I am extremely pleased to share this honor with my family and friends who supported me for so long."

While no golfer earned the required 65 percent of the vote needed for induction, Wadkins was elected by virtue of being on the highest percentage of ballots among the other nominees and reaching the 50 percent plateau.

Lanny Wadkins at the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf

His closest competitors were two-time major champion Doug Ford (46%), Mark O'Meara (31%), Davis Love III (27%), Ken Venturi (26%) and Fred Couples (22%).

Kenny Perry, who recently lost in a playoff to Angel Cabrerea at the 2009 Masters received one percent of the vote.

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PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem outlined Wadkins qualifications for induction.

"Lanny Wadkins' reputation as one of the most fiercely competitive players of his generation was demonstrated time and time again, including hsi victories at the 1977 PGA Championship, where he won a sudden-death playoff, adn at the 1979 PLAYERS Championship, when he overgame gale-force conditions to win by five strokes," Finchem said. "His tournament record, coupled with his stout Ryder Cup success and time spent as a CBS analyst, rounds out a remarkable Hall of Fame career."

After a stellar amateur career that included two Walker Cup appearances, a U.S. Amateur Championship, and collegiate All-America honors in 1970 and 1971 as a member of the Wake Forest University golf team, Wadkins turned pro and promptly proved his worth as a professional.He was named Rookie of the Year in 1972 by Golf Digest.

Wadkins, who was voted PGA Player of the Year in 1985, is among the top 30 on the all-time PGA Tour victory list.

Wadkins will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in November

He was also a tremendous Ryder Cup competitor, playing in the international event eight times and ammassing a 20-11-3 record, one of the strongest in Ryder Cup history. He served as U.S. Ryder Cup team captain in 1995.

Wadkins was victorious in his first Champions Tour start, the 2000 ACE Group Classic, while splitting time between competition and the CBS broadcast booth, where he was lead analyst for the network's golf telecasts from 2002 through 2006.

"Lanny Wadkins has enjoyed tremendous success at every turn of his career, from his days as an amateur, to his PGA Tour career to his position as one of the finest Ryder Cup players this country has ever produced," said Jack Peter, senior vice president and COO of the World Golf hall of Fame. "It is certainly fitting that Wadkins' career is capped by receiving golf's highest honor - election into the World Golf Hall of Fame."

Additional announcements for the 2009 class of inductees are being scheduled in the coming weeks. The 2009 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. on Monday, Nov. 2.

For more information about the World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Process or the 2009 Induction Ceremony, visit www.wgv.com .

Complete PGA Tour Candidates Results:

Lanny Wadkins - 61%
Doug Ford - 46%
Mark O'Meara - 31%
Davis Love III - 27%
Ken Venturi - 26%
Macdonald Smith - 20%
Tony Lema - 19%
Fuzzy Zoeller - 14%
Don January - 13%
Dave Stockton - 10%
Miller Barber - 10%
Harold (Jug) McSpaden - 8%
Jay Haas - 3%
Kenny Perry - 1%

 

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