Thanks to Tiger Woods, fellow Open Champions Padraig Harrington and Tom Weiskopf have been spared media spotlight embarrassment in being overlooked for 2021 Hall of Fame induction honours.
The trio, along with former US Open (1928) champ Johnnie Farrell, were the four ‘Male’ nominees for the Hall of Fame ‘Class of 2021’.
There were also six other nominees including LPGA great Dottie Pepper and past PGA Tour Commissioner, Tim Finchem.
However, a meeting of the Hall of Fame voting panel early in the week of last month’s eventually cancelled Players Championship considered the overwhelming media impact of Woods joining the already 160 others previously honoured.
It is believed Harrington, Weiskopf and Pepper who have six majors between them, would be left somewhat red-faced by near 100% media induction ceremony attention on Woods.
Instead, the Florida-based Hall of Fame in the weeks following Woods’ selection chose instead to add four-time Major winning LPGA star Susie Maxwell Berning and early 20th century golf course architect Marion Hollins along with Finchem.
‘The Class of ‘21’ will be inducted mid next year and it now leaves the induction door open for Harrington’s Hall of Fame credentials of three Majors, 15 European Tour and three regular PGA Tour wins plus 15 other victories around the world, six Ryder Cup team caps to be properly honoured will full media spotlights in 2023.
Robert Damron, speaking on The Golf Channel’s Morning Drive, correctly summed-up the view of the Hall of Fame.
“Padraig was absolutely worthy of being in the Hall of Fame, and he will get in, but I don’t see this as a slight that he was not chosen this time around,” said Damron.
“It should almost be a relief for Padraig firstly as he is not being inducted during what will be the Tiger Woods Show which is what will take place at next year’s induction.
“Secondly, Padraig’s plate is currently full with what is going on at the moment with the Ryder Cup captaincy coming-up but if he were not to be inducted into the ‘Class of ‘23’ and that will be the next induction, then I will start to scratch my head and say ‘Hey, we are slighting Padraig’s three major championships just a little too much’.
Harrington, 48 came under the Hall of Fame spotlight when the eligibility was lowered from age 50 to 45.
The Dubliner, when asked by Irish Golfer Magazine at last January’s Omega Dubai Desert Classic was initially unaware of the eligibility change.
“I did not realise the Hall of Fame had brought the age back to 45 so that’s good to learn,” he said.
“I would hope that I would be honoured at some time in my career but what do I say as I would like those honours to just pan out and let them take their course.
“Saying that, it would be a great honour to be in the Hall of Fame – it would be an incredible honour, no doubt about it.”