Golf: New rule stretches Tiger's wait for Hall of Fame

Tiger Woods will have a longer wait before taking his place in the World Golf Hall of Fame after officials announced that the qualifying age has been raised.
Tiger Woods will have a longer wait before taking his place in the World Golf Hall of Fame after officials announced that the qualifying age has been raised.PHOTO: AFP

MIAMI (AFP) - Tiger Woods will have a longer wait before taking his place in the World Golf Hall of Fame after officials announced Wednesday the qualifying age for enshrinement had been raised.

The Hall of Fame said in a statement that candidates for inductions must be at least 50 at the start of the year when selections are made, rather than the prior age of 40, or have not actively played for five years.

That means 14-time major champion Woods, who turned 40 last December, would have been considered this year under the old rules but, provided he keeps playing, must now wait another decade for his chance.

"We work very closely with our Hall of Fame Members to ensure all aspects of the induction criteria are shrewd and judicious," said World Golf Hall of Fame president Jack Peter.

"As players continue to elevate their fitness levels and play at a high level for a longer period of time, moving the age requirement to 50 ensures that we are able to celebrate their careers at the proper time."

Woods was a main figure who inspired golf's fitness revolution, shattering the Masters tournament record in winning his first major in 1997, before dominating the sport for years and forcing rivals to improve their conditioning in order to compete with him.

Jack Nicklaus, whose record 18 major wins is the milestone Woods has chased his entire career, was named as a co-chairman of the Hall selection committee to replace Arnold Palmer and join returning fellow retired stars Gary Player, Annika Sorenstam and Nancy Lopez.

The full committee meets later this year to consider candidates and determine the Class of 2017 that will be inducted in May of next year.