Of course Park Jr. did have the excuse of having been dead for almost 88 years.
What does it say about the modern professional and the World Golf Hall of Fame that living Hall iductees can't be bothered to attend the ceremony? Or that more active caddies turned up than players? Sources present who emailed their annoyance or Tweeted about the ceremnony revealed that there were eight hall members at Monday night's ceremony. None were hall member/players of the Male-American variety.
Ponte Vedra resident Vijay Singh was no doubt licking his wounds and was too sore to attend after not getting penalized for violating PGA Tour doping policy.
Garry Smits reports on a ceremony that included an emotional speech by Fred Couples and a predictably silly statement by PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, who, by spearheading inductions of George Bush and Ken Schofield while overlooking worthier players, is in danger of making the Hall a Ponte Vedra Cronyfest.
Couples called the PGA Tour “my playground for 33 years.”
PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said that Couples’ popularity, which began when he won the 1984 Players Championship at the age of 25, “changed the game.”
“Only a few players move the needle,” Finchem said. “We owe him a debt of gratitude.”
Nantz became especially emotional about Venturi, who was unable to travel to St. Augustine because of illness. His sons, Matt and Tim Venturi, accepted the induction and crystal trophy for him.
“I loved Ken Venturi, a friend and a mentor,” Nantz said of his CBS broadcast partner. “I’m heart-broken he’s not standing here now. Most people know Kenny has been ill for some time. The prognosis is still good. He can get through this.”
The thread of such an evening, as it usually is, is how these special people took small sparks of opportunity and chance and somehow wove such a great game into the fabric of their lives. How golf, somehow, jumped into their life’s path and they made the most of it. Certainly, some are more easily found by this game than others. Park Jr., for instance, was part of a significant golf family from Musselburgh, Scotland, one that took on Old and Young Tom Morris and boasted three family members who would capture the Open Championship. (Willie Jr. would win the Open in 1887 and '89).