Golf: Love, Ochoa, Woosnam among new World Hall of Famers

(From left) Davis Love, Lorena Ochoa and Ian Woosnam are among the new World Golf Hall of Fame inductees.
(From left) Davis Love, Lorena Ochoa and Ian Woosnam are among the new World Golf Hall of Fame inductees.PHOTOS: AFP, ST FILE

MIAMI (AFP) - Major winners Davis Love, Ian Woosnam, Lorena Ochoa and Meg Mallon and journalist Henry Longhurst have been named 2017 inductees to the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The selection committee for the St Augustine, Florida, attraction announced the honour group on Tuesday (Oct 18) from among 16 finalists, with enshrinement ceremonies set for Sept 26, 2017, in New York ahead of the area hosting the Presidents Cup.

"We have the privilege of bringing in one of our strongest classes to date," said World Golf Hall of Fame president Jack Peter.

Each new member of the Hall of Fame, which will not feature 155 people, received 75 percent support from the 16-member selection group, whose members include Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Annika Sorenstam.

Love captained the 2016 US Ryder Cup team to victory earlier this month at Hazeltine after his 2012 squad lost to the greatest last-day comeback in Ryder Cup history.

Love won 21 US PGA Tour titles, including the 1997 PGA Championship, and also played six times each on Ryder and Presidents Cup teams.

"Davis has an outstanding record not only as a player but as a gentleman," said South African legend Player.

"He has been a tremendous contributor and all-around man for golf. It's terrific to see him in the World Golf Hall of Fame."

Welshman Woosnam, the 1991 Masters champion, topped the world rankings for 50 weeks in 1991 and 1992. The former European Tour Order of Merit winner was named European Player of the Year in 1987 and 1990 and played on eight Ryder Cup teams.

"Woosie got a lot out of his game. He was a great competitor and handled himself very well. He has been a great contributor to golf from the European side, and I'm delighted to have him inducted," 18-time major winner Nicklaus said.

Mallon won 18 LPGA titles, including four major crowns, and was a member of nine Solheim Cup squads, serving as captain of the 2013 US team.

"Meg Mallon has been a great player and a great contributor. She has been involved heavily in the game of golf. Everybody likes her. Everybody knows what her talent is. She's just an amazing gal," Nicklaus said.

Ochoa, the first Mexican-born golfer in the Hall, won 27 LPGA events, two of them majors, and was world number one for 158 consecutive weeks from 2007 to 2010.

Longhurst, a long-time British newspaper columnist, was a pioneering British television golf commentator. He died in 1978 at age 69.