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Tom Weiskopf, Padraig Harrington, LPGA founders lead list of 2024 World Golf Hall of Fame inductees

BY: Evin Priest | MARCH 20, 2023

Tom Weiskopf and Padraig Harrington lead a group who will be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2024. The ceremony will be held in Pinehurst, N.C., next summer in conjunction with the U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2.

Weiskopf and Harrington join Sandra Palmer, Beverly Hanson, Johnny Farrell and the seven remaining co-founders of the LPGA not already in the Hall of Fame: Alice Bauer, Bettye Danoff, Helen Detweiler, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Shirley Spork and Sally Sessions.

Harrington, 51, is a three-time major winner and six-time Ryder Cup player for Europe before moving into the senior phase of his competitive career. The Irishman won back-to-back Open Championships in 2007 and 2008, when he also won the PGA Championship.

Of Harrington’s 21 professional victories, 15 came on the European tour and six on the PGA Tour. The Dublin native also captained the European team at the 2021 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits. Last year, Harrington won four times on the PGA Tour Champions including the U.S. Senior Open.

Harrington plays part-time on the DP World and PGA tours and made the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill last week. He tied for fourth place at the 2021 PGA Championship at Kiawah Island.

“This is very exciting, obviously a huge honor,” Harrington said. “It’s somewhat humbling. At this stage of my life, it gives me some validation to what I’ve done in golf. Brings back a flood of memories. This is a deep-down satisfaction, and I’m very proud to be included with the players before me. Seeing your name beside the names that I’ve looked up to as a boy and young golfer, it’s very nice. Everybody on the ballot deserves to be there. It’s unfortunate that everyone can’t be in, but it’s great to be included in the Class of 2024.”

Weiskopf won 16 times on the PGA Tour, although his most famous victory was the 1973 Open Championship at Royal Troon, where he defeated Neil Coles and Jonny Miller by three shots. Miller had won the U.S. Open a month prior to the Open at Troon. Weiskopf died in August 2022 at age 79.

Palmer, 79, won two majors in her career, including the 1975 U.S. Women’s Open, among 19 LPGA victories. She also claimed LPGA Player of the Year honors in 1975. Palmer collected 28 total professional victories and won twice in Japan.

“I’m overcome with emotion and very grateful,” Palmer said. “It gives me an opportunity to thank the people that have helped me along the way. I just couldn’t believe it when I got the call, this is my sixth time to be nominated. What an incredible group of women that I played with over the years. I’m definitely going to have some champagne. It’s one of those times that you sit down and your whole career comes before you. I think about the people along the way that I’d like to thank.”

Among Farrell’s 22 PGA Tour wins was the 1928 U.S. Open at Olympia Fields near Chicago, when he defeated Bobby Jones by just a single shot in a 36-hole playoff.

Hanson won the U.S. Women’s Amateur in 1950 and went on to win three majors, including the 1955 Women’s PGA Championship among her 17 LPGA wins. In 1958, she was the leading money earner and won the LPGA’s Vare Trophy for having the lowest scoring average for the year. She died in 2014 at age 89.

In 1950, the LPGA was founded by 13 original LPGA players. Bauer, Danoff, Dettweiler, Hicks, Hill, Sessions and Spork join Patty Berg (1974 inductee), Marlene Bauer Hagge (2022), Louise Suggs (1979), Babe Zaharias (1974), Marilynn Smith (2006 Inductee) and Betty Jameson (1998) in the Hall of Fame.

“We owe the LPGA’s long and illustrious history to the dedicated efforts and incredible commitment of our 13 Founders,” LPGA Commissioner Mollie Marcoux Samaan said. “Their leadership created the most successful women’s sports organizations in the world, and they made it possible for women to pursue golf as a passion and as a career.”

The other finalists were Peter Dawson, Jim Furyk, Butch Harmon, Cristie Kerr, Dottie Pepper and Jay Sigel.

The 2024 World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be June 10, 2024 in the Village of Pinehurst, N.C. The U.S. Open will be held at Pinehurst No. 2 later that week and the new Hall of Fame Museum and USGA Pinehurst campus will both be opening.
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