Twitter: GeoffShac
  • The 1997 Masters: My Story
    The 1997 Masters: My Story
    by Tiger Woods
  • The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    The First Major: The Inside Story of the 2016 Ryder Cup
    by John Feinstein
  • Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    Tommy's Honor: The Story of Old Tom Morris and Young Tom Morris, Golf's Founding Father and Son
    by Kevin Cook
  • Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    Playing Through: Modern Golf's Most Iconic Players and Moments
    by Jim Moriarty
  • His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    His Ownself: A Semi-Memoir (Anchor Sports)
    by Dan Jenkins
  • The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    The Captain Myth: The Ryder Cup and Sport's Great Leadership Delusion
    by Richard Gillis
  • The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    The Ryder Cup: Golf's Grandest Event – A Complete History
    by Martin Davis
  • Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    Harvey Penick: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf
    by Kevin Robbins
  • Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    Grounds for Golf: The History and Fundamentals of Golf Course Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Art of Golf Design
    The Art of Golf Design
    by Michael Miller, Geoff Shackelford
  • The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    The Future of Golf: How Golf Lost Its Way and How to Get It Back
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Lines of Charm: Brilliant and Irreverent Quotes, Notes, and Anecdotes from Golf's Golden Age Architects
    Sports Media Group
  • Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    Alister MacKenzie's Cypress Point Club
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Golden Age of Golf Design
    The Golden Age of Golf Design
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Masters of the Links: Essays on the Art of Golf and Course Design
    Sleeping Bear Press
  • The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    The Good Doctor Returns: A Novel
    by Geoff Shackelford
  • The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    The Captain: George C. Thomas Jr. and His Golf Architecture
    by Geoff Shackelford
« "North Korea sits high on the list of impenetrable venues, somewhere between Seminole and the moon." | Main | "I think the rules could be written to allow for it and still not be bifurcation." »

Monty's Induction Sparking Outrage?

I certainly agree with all of Gary Williams' points about the World Golf Hall of Fame voting and criteria, though I'm a little surprised at the outrage expressed on Twitter over Colin Montgomerie's selection when he at least has on-course successes to point to.

It's the cronyism and overall oy factor behind selections like George H. Bush and now Ken Schofield that I find detrimental to the Hall's street cred.

For those who will scream that no criteria will create total chaos I would point to every other Hall of Fame. Outside of removal from the game for a certain number of years there are no benchmarks that players must hit for eligibility. Many things about golf are not analogous to other sports but in this case it most certainly is and leave it up to the voters to know, or at least feel, when it's time for a player to take his place in St. Augustine.

For the Monty skeptics, Daniel Wexler takes a closer look at his record and can't even get excited about the "superhuman" order of merit success cited by George O'Grady.

Third, while one can surely only beat the competition that's put in front of them, a quick glance inside Monty's halcyon 1993-1999 run indicates that in winning his seven straight Orders of Merit, he averaged exactly 20 official E Tour starts per season.  And what of his primary competition?  Jose Maria Olazabal was next with an average of 18 annual starts - but that's not including the 1995 and '96 campaigns which he missed entirely due to injury.  Seve Ballesteros averaged 17.2 E Tour starts during these years, but was clearly well beyond his elite form before Monty's run even began.  Ian Woosnam also averaged 17.2 starts in this period, while Bernhard Langer weighed in at 16.7.  And then there was Sir Nick Faldo, who was also somewhat on the down side by the time Monty got rolling, but had already largely packed it off to America anyway, averaging only nine annual E Tour starts from 1993-1999.

So while seven consecutive Order of Merit titles is indeed impressive, Monty did manage to time them perfectly (peaking just when much of the competition was somewhat on the wane) and was aided in earning the most money simply by making the most starts.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (29)

Just rename it the Golf World Hall of Pretty Good...problem solved.
12.20.2012 | Unregistered Commenterjjshaka
More bleedin' statistics.

I guess you had to be there to fully appreciate what a stunning and exciting player Monty was to watch.
Exciting player, but his HOF credentials fall short. Just like his 9 iron on 18 at Winged Foot.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChad Rucker
Faldo won the OOM in 1992 and the following year was second to You Know Who. At the age of 36 when Monty won his first OOM, he was hardly past his prime. Seve was one year older.
Langer was playing a full schedule in those years. Woosie too and was 35 years old when Monty started his run.
Nobilo, Torrence, Allenby, Clarke, Goosen, Westwood, McGinley, Jimenez, Bjorn. Leaney, Chalmers, Harrington, Garcia, Lawrie and Campbell were all players back then and pretty decent ones.
Cut the man some slack and give him his due. 8 OOM by any one's standards, are the mark of a great career.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commentermetro18
Best Hall of Famer never to win a major!
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commentersmails
Agreed. Putting aside the criteria for the HoF, for Wexler to dismiss Monty's OOM's as mainly down to playing the most events is ignorant and lazy. It's almost as if the (presumably insular) Mr Wexler imagined that beyond the declining big 5, Monty was up against club pro's and hackers. Staggeringly idiotic journalism.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlan McD
The way things are going now with the changes with the FEDEX Cup playoffs it seems that the Majors aren't worth as much as they were in the past. They give more FEDEXCup points to the playoffs than to a Major---to me that is mind boggling. But another thing too is that is an issue is to who is voting these guys in on the PGA Tour/Intl ballots. How are those people even credible in voting? So you can't solely blame the system for lesser worthy people getting in but rather the voters actually giving these people any votes.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterViz
Poor old Monty, he just can't get any respect! As Scotland's most successful golfer in the last 20 years (I know, I know,what about Sandy Lyle and his 2 majors and Paul Lawrie?) he probably deserves to be in the HoF.

"He says he’s played for 65 years,
Is there anyone left among his peers?
He claims he remembers Jack as a kid
And St. Andrews costing a couple of quid,
When metal shafts were the latest thing,
Long before Karsten had thought of Ping."
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBardolinks

Monty won 7 straight Order of Merit titles and 8 overall. He won 31 Euro Tour events and another 8-9 international events. He was involved in 9 Ryder Cups including 8 as a player (5 wins) and one Captaincy (winner), and amassed the greatest Ryder Cup record ever (unlikely to ever be surpassed). He also finished runner-up in 6 majors including 4 US Open, 1 PGA, and 1 Open Championship. Additionally, he played on 29 other international professional teams of various sorts! Monty was selected to the Walker Cup team twice.

That's a HOF resume in my book.

Here's a question, how does Monty's resume compare with Fred Couples. Twice as good? About the same? Worse?
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
50 years from now, virtually no one will have remembered who Colin Montgomerie was.

What is the most significant trophy on which his name is engraved? He has no Majors, no WGCs, no Players Championships, & players names are not engraved on the Ryder Cup.

The zenith of his achievements is winning the Volvo PGA Championship at Wentworth twice - a tournament that is almost totally ignored by Americans and PGA Tour players. Then, one could argue that his next biggest win was the Dubai Desert Classic.

Just dumb.

Also, this opens the HOF door for David Toms, Justin Leonard, Luke Donald, Corey Pavin, Zach Johnson, Lee Westwood ...
The whole concept of a HOF is laughable: golf is an ancient game, no need to "create" history. The fact that the WORLD HOF has a separate INTERNATIONAL ballot makes it doubly laughable.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFT
Decent golfer, great Ryder Cupper. 25 handicap personality.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
Smacking, Fred Couples opened the door for all those guys and a whole bunch more! Can't lay that one at the feet of Monty ;)
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Obviously there are corporate motives driving a huge number of inductees. Gives Finchem a reason to stage a big event every year before the Players Chmp. Sells advertising, promotes the Players Chmp, allows the PGA Tour to look like they are the "keeper" of the games history by running the WGHOF.

Expand expand expand. Create opportunities for guys like Luke Donald and Brandt Snedeker to make fortunes. For journeymen like Briny Baird and Kevin Na to become multi-multi millionaires. Create bogus events like the Presidents Cup and the Fed Ex Cup.

Eventually they will arrive at the destination that the NHL arrived at a number of years ago. Unsustainability.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAbu Dhabi Golfer
I am so in!
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterLuke Donald
World Golf Hall of Fame 2013 voting:-
Colin Montgomerie 51%
Ian Woosnam 21%

Colin Montgomerie Professional wins (40)
Ian Woosnam Professional wins (48)

Colin Montgomerie Highest OWGR - #2
Ian Woosnam highest OWGR - #1 - for 50 weeks

Ryder Cup Captain
Colin Montgomerie (2010) 14.5 vs 13.5 winner
Ian Woosnam (2006) 18.5 vs 9.5 (Record win) winner

Colin Montgomerie Majors (0)
Ian Woosnam Majors (1) 1991 Masters

Ryder Cup records
Most Four-Ball Matches Won
Ian Woosnam, 10
Jose Maria Olazabal, 9
Seve Ballesteros, 8
Lee Westwood, 8
Nick Faldo, 7

Most Four-Ball Points Won
Ian Woosnam, 10.5
Jose Maria Olazabal, 10.5
Seve Ballesteros, 9
Lee Westwood, 8.5
Nick Faldo, 7.5
Bernhard Langer, 7
Colin Montgomerie, 7
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpiced Rum
The WGHOF is not really a HOF, it's more of a tourist attraction designed to get people to Florida. When they inducted US Presidents and such it lost all relevance. If he's not already in there, Finchem will be inducted soon - so what does that say?

That's not too say that I don't see Monty on a list of great golfers, because I do see him there, way way above numerous guys who managed to get lucky and win a major somewhere along an otherwise lacklustre career.

Hall of fame?? who cares? pretty soon they are going to induct the American Tour's largest sponsors, based on "contributions to the game" or something.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterPress Agent
The very fact that there is an "international" ballot suggests that the "real" Hall of Fame is American. As it is -- it lives in America and its thinking is American (the "we're number one" variety).

As such it has zero credibility as a hall of honour for golfers. Americans are obsessed by majors, perhaps because three of those events deemed majors take place on their shores and the economics of golf since it became a big business have meant anything is going to be driven by the largest market.

But the history of golf is not all about majors. The Ryder Cup is older than the Masters. There was golf in quite a lot of places before it became a big deal in the US. A Hall of Fame should honour all manner of golf achievements, not just those that suit a self-serving America. But I do not expect this argument to reach people who cannot realise that in reaching the Number One spot in the world WITHOUT winning point-delivering majors, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood have shown how very great their golf has been. Much more than some Shaun Micheel or Rich Beem who gets lucky one week and never gets near Number One because they do not factor week in week out.

By any rational criteria Colin Montgomerie is a shoo-in to the Hall of Fame. Only anal morons who watch golf four times a year and see nothing else can think otherwise. And if non-players are to be inducted -- and I think they should be -- then Ken Schofield is another automatic choice. He virtually created the European Tour out of whole cloth and its achievements internationally in building the game make all the First Tee programmes and other self-serving PGA Tour initiatives dressed up to look like "growing the game" pathetic.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Spiced- Great stats, just left out the Order of Merit stat line and Ryder Cup singles line. However, you make a great case for Ian. Would be interesting to put Ian's stats against Freddie's.
Woosie should probably be in over Montgomerie (which isn't to say Colin shouldn't be in) and O'Meara over Freddie. But the reality is that each and every HoF puts people in every year, and there is more to golf than the majors

There also also structural issues with the WGHOF that are laughable (51% rule, international ballot0
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
Nobody outside the US really cares about the Hall of Fame anyway, it's an intrinsically American concept.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterIan C
@elf...... Major League Baseball does not induct players into the HOF every year. If no players gets 75% of the vote they dont get in. They don't have the dumb rule like the WGOF does that if the players vote percentage is not high enough (65%) they take the player with the highest percentage over 50%.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
@owgr somebody gets into the baseball hall of fame every year (also writers tend to vote for players they otherwise would not, if there is a weak ballot)
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterelf
The HOF is simply a tourist trap, as Press Agent said.

Nothing to get all hystatistical about.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
Spiced Rum, that's some GREAT stuff! Was there ever a more efficient golf swing than Woosie's?!?

"...only anal morons who watch golf four times a year..." LOVE that too!!!
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
Chad Rucker - it was a 7 iron, I believe.. not a 9 iron. Probably my favourite 7 iron shot of all time.
12.21.2012 | Unregistered CommenterStord
By my quick Wikipedia count:

Woosnam 29 Euro 1 US, 10 major top 10's, 14-12-5 RC (0-6-2 singles)
Monty 31 Euro 0 US, 10 major top 10's, 20-9-7 RC (6-0-2 singles)
Fred 2 Euro 15 US, 26 major top 10's, 5 RC's
Pavin 1 Euro 15 US, 12 major top 10's, 3 RC's
Westy 22 Euro 2 US, 14 major top 10's, 16-11-6 RC (2-5 singles)
Toms 0 Euro, 13 US, 10 major top 10's, 3 RC's
Leonard 0 Euro, 12 US, 11 major top 10's, 3 RC's
O'Meara 3 Euro, 16 US, 11 major top 10's, 5 RC's
Donald 6 Euro, 5 US, 7 major top 10's, 4 RC's

("Euro" means a victory that is a European tour victory but not a PGA tour victory)

I would think Montgomerie is at least even with Woosnam since he was brilliant in Ryder Cup and Woosnam mediocre. That isn't worth 1 major? Why get all worked up about the Ryder Cup if performances in it don't really matter?
12.22.2012 | Unregistered Commenterweg
Freddie's top-10 in majors pretty eye opening...
12.23.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDTF
"@owgr somebody gets into the baseball hall of fame every year"

Well, elf, NEARLY every year.
01.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterArthur Nelson

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.