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Inaugural Class of Western Pa. Golf Hall of Fame Announced


Arnold Palmer heads the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association Hall of Fame inaugural class, which is to be inducted September 26 during a special awards dinner and ceremony at Oakmont Country Club. The group includes four members of the World Golf Hall of Fame:

Carol Semple Thompson, the women's amateur golf icon from Sewickley won the U.S. Women's Amateur, Mid-Amateur and USGA Senior Women's Amateur Championships, as well as the British Women's Amateur.

Jack "Jock" Hutchison, a legendary Pittsburgh club professional won both the PGA Championship and British Open as well as five West Penn Opens in seven years (1909-15), the gold standard for the event.

Lew Worsham is a former Oakmont Country Club golf professional and U.S. Open champion.

Palmer, a Latrobe native, won seven majors among his 62 PGA Tour victories and helped bring golf into the mainstream of American sports in the 1960s and '70s.

The fifth member of the class is William C. Fownes, a key figure of amateur golf in the United States, who was both a champion (U.S. Amateur, Walker Cup) and served as president of the United States Golf Association from 1926-27. He, along with his father Henry Fownes, was also the designer of Oakmont, a fabled layout that has hosted more U.S. Opens - eight - than any other golf course.

Both Palmer and Thompson, the only living members of the inaugural class, have confirmed they will attend the induction celebration at Oakmont. Ron Sirak of Golf Digest and Golf World will emcee the event, which begins with a reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and induction ceremonies at 8:15 p.m.

The Hall of Fame selection committee includes:

Jim Toras, Chairman
Bill Fallon, USGA Executive Committee
John Fitzgerald, Member, Oakmont Country Club
David Kuhar, Past President, WPGA
Phil Newcamp, Head Golf Professional, St. Clair Country Club
Steve Schlossman, USGA Museum Committee
Carol Semple Thompson

Tickets for the WPGA Hall Of Fame Dinner are $200 apiece. Additional information is available by contacting the WPGA at 412/826-2180.

About the WPGA

Founded in 1899 and one of the oldest amateur golf associations in the U.S., the Western Pennsylvania Golf Association is the steward of amateur golf in the region, an association of golf clubs and individual members brought together for the good of the game. Started by five founding clubs, the association now has over 125 clubs and nearly 30,000 golfers. The WPGA's mission is to advance the interests and spirit of the game of golf and to encourage a spirit of harmony and cooperation among golf clubs and other related associations. Primary activities include the administration of the USGA Handicap System, educational programs for members and club employees, the sharing of information and the conduct of championships.

For more information, visit www.wpga.org.