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Artifacts Herald 2009 Inductees
Special displays recounting the historic paths each of the 2009 inductees took to the World Golf Hall of Fame will be open to the public on October 26. This unveiling takes place a week prior to Dwight D. Eisenhower, Christy O'Connor, José María Olazábal and Lanny Wadkins becoming official members of the Hall of Fame at the annual Induction Ceremony, set for November 2 at 6 p.m. (airing on Golf Channel at 10 p.m. ET).
"We are grateful to this year's inductees and their families as they have been incredibly accommodating to provide their most prized possessions so that the Hall of Fame can share their stories with golf fans who come to visit from around the world," said Jack Peter, Senior Vice President and COO of the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla. "Literally hundreds of artifacts and some of the most amazing, rare photographs help tell their accomplished life stories which have brought them into the Hall of Fame. Guests are going to love what they see."
Selected in the Lifetime Achievement Category, Eisenhower will become the first president in the Hall of Fame. In cooperation with the Dwight D. Eisenhower Library and Museum, the Hall of Fame will showcase several items that characterize "Ike's" love of golf, including his green jacket, a personal planner, and a tie and patch from Augusta National Golf Club, where he was a member from 1948 to 1969. Items also have been loaned to the Hall of Fame from Eisenhower's close friend, Arnold Palmer, including a painting the late president fashioned for Palmer and delivered in person on his 37th birthday.
The display for O'Connor, selected in the Veterans Category, will feature dozens of clubs, medals and trophies the Irishman earned during a career that spanned four decades and included 24 European Tour titles and 10 Ryder Cup appearances. His trophy commemorating the 1970 John Player Classic, when he won the richest prize in golf at the time, will be on display, as will his 1962 Harry Vardon Trophy, signifying his position as the only Irishman to have won the European Tour Order of Merit twice. The Carrolls International trophy he received for winning the tournament a third time in 1967, which features a design based on his swing, also will be included. Several Ryder Cup items will be showcased, including his European team bag from 1969, the eighth of his then-record 10 consecutive Ryder Cup appearances, a bar he set for consistent performance over three different decades.
The display for two-time Masters' champion Olazabal, elected on the International Ballot, will include several items representing that achievement. Among those items are his silver 1994 Masters clubhouse trophy, and the metalwoods and putter he used to win that event. Additionally, the set of clubs Olazabal used to win his second Masters in 1999 is also on exhibition. His entire collection of major championship contestant badges from the Masters, the Open Championship, the U.S. Open and PGA Championship will be on display as well. Olazabal's exhibit also showcases his Ryder Cup career, his success on the European Tour and as an amateur; he is the only one to have ever won the British Boys Amateur Golf Championship, the British Youth's Open Golf Championship and the Amateur Championship. All three of those R&A trophies will be on display.
The display for Wadkins, elected on the PGA Tour Ballot, will include several artifacts representing his domination on U.S. Ryder Cup teams between the late 1970s and the early 1990s, including all eight Ryder Cup bags and money clips. Numerous medals and trophies he earned en route to his 21 wins on the PGA Tour will be presented, as will the MacGregor Custom driver he used to capture the 1977 PGA Championship. In 1970, while attending Wake Forest, Wadkins produced one of the greatest years in amateur golf, winning the U.S. Amateur, Southern Amateur, Western Amateur and World Amateur Team Championship. Several pieces on display will represent that feat.
In addition to the inductee exhibits, each new member will have a locker in the Hall's Member Locker Room, which features additional artifacts and personal memorabilia. The inductee exhibits will remain on display in the center of the museum, Shell Hall, for a year and then move into other recent inductee areas.
For more information about the World Golf Hall of Fame, the upcoming Induction Ceremony or to learn more about the 2009 Class of Inductees, visit www.wgv.com.
About the World Golf Hall of Fame
The World Golf Hall of Fame, located at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., honors and celebrates golf's greatest players and contributors. A World Golf Foundation initiative, the Hall of Fame represents collaboration among 26 national and international golf organizations, including the LPGA, the Masters Tournament, PGA of America, PGA Tour, the European Tour, the R&A and USGA. The museum houses interactive exhibits and historic and personal artifacts that tell the stories of its members and the game of golf.