One of golf’s great injustices has finally been rectified after former Masters champion and one-time world No 1 Ian Woosnam was named among the latest inductees for the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The Welshman appeared to have given up hope of ever joining the game’s greats in being afforded the honour when, after being overlooked two years ago, he wrote on Twitter: “After seeing the results of the World Golf Hall of Fame, I think it’s time to say goodbye to golf and retire.”
He did neither, thankfully, and now Woosnam has gained the recognition he richly deserves after being included in this year’s inductees along with another well-known figure in British golf, the legendary late BBC commentator Henry Longhurst.
Davis Love III, who led Team USA to a first Ryder Cup victory in eight years at Hazeltine earlier this month, will also be inducted next September, as will Solheim Cup stalwart Meg Mallon and former women’s world No 1 Lorena Ochoa.
Woosnam’s inclusion on the list was welcomed by the game’s greatest player. “Woosie got a lot out of his game,” said 18-times major winner Jack Nicklaus. “He was a great competitor and I am delighted to have him inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame.”
Five Scots - Callum Macaulay, Ryan Campbell, Conor O’Neil, Neil Fenwick, John Henry – set out at Desert Springs Resort in Spain today hoping to end the season on a high on the PGA EuroPro Tour.
The third-tier circuit’s Tour Championship carries a £20,000 first prize while the top five on the money list at the finish secure automatic promotion to the Challenge Tour next season.
With Henry the best-placed in 28th, nothing but a win will be enough for any of the Scots as they attempt to secure that step up.
Only the top 60 in the Race to Dubai Springs were invited to take part in the event, which carries a prize pot of £90,000 – almost twice the purse for a regular tournament on the circuit.
Paul Doherty was just two shots behind the leader, Englishman Stuart Archibald, heading into the final round of the MENA Tour’s Sahara Kuwait Championship.
Doherty, a winner on the third-tier circuit in Morocco last year, made his move with a second-round 65.
“The thinking going forward is to stick to the same gameplan and see what happens,” said the former Scottish Boys’ champion after moving to eight-under for the tournament. “But I do think that I am in a good position entering the final round.”
Jack McDonald, the only other Scot in the field, had four shots to make up on Archibald over the closing 18 holes after a second-round 69.
Perth man Daniel Young is the sole Scot in action in the Alps Tour’s season-ending Abruzzo Grand Final, which starts today at Miglianico Golf & Country Club in Italy.
Sitting 37th on the money-list, Young needs a big week as he bids to burst into the top five and secure a Challenge Tour card for next season.
The 2015 Scottish Amateur Championship runner-up will take encouragement, though, from the fact he finished 12th in the Abruzzo Open at the same venue last week.
Next year’s British Masters, to be hosted by Lee Westwood at Close House near Newcastle, will be played before the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, having followed that event for the last two years.
The switch was confirmed by the European Tour after the dates for the 2017 British Masters, which will make the circuit’s return to the North-East for the first time since the 2002 Great North Open, were set as 28 September-1 October. That was the week filled by the Ryder Cup this year.
“I’m sure Close House will be a fantastic test of golf for the players coming up to the North East,” said Westwood, who follows Ian Poulter and Luke Donald as the event’s host.