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Showing Up Is Still Hard To Do For Golf's Under-55 (Males)

The World Golf Hall Of Fame produced another special evening at Cipriani in New York to usher in the 2017 class consisting of Henry Longhurst, Davis Love, Meg Mallon, Lorena Ochoa and Ian Woosnam.

Jeff Babineau of Golfweek shares the thoughts of inductees on a ceremony eve  that gathered the largest-ever past Hall attendance. (Counts varied, but 1300 tournament wins and 150 major championship wins were represented by the 34 pictured to your right.)

The LPGA Tour is in New Zealand this week, but their American-based players turned out to support their former rival, Ochoa. Besides another stellar turnout of past female HOF inductees, current stars Morgan Pressel, Michelle Wie, Cristie Kerr and Stacy Lewis were in attendance.

Even though the ceremony was timed to coincide with the 2017 Presidents Cup so  officials and players gathering in New York could attend, most under-55 male stars failed to take the hint: your attendance would have been enjoyed at the World Golf Hall of Fame ceremony. You might even learn that the game was played well before 1999!

As Doug Ferguson highlighted in his AP game story, Love insisted the night was the greatest honor of a life well-lived. Yet not one player or assistant from Love's 2016 Ryder Cup squad or the 2017 Presidents Cup team was able to show support in person.

Granted, there are team room table tennis games to play, room service appetizers to devour and naps to take. But given how much nonsense is uttered when today's young players hang around after a buddy wins, the no-show brigade suggests the admiration does not extend to their elders or golf's history. The history-makers, cord-cutters before there were cord-cutters and trailblazers who allow today's giants to play for massive money.

But worse than the younger players not attending: the noticeable absense of longtime Love competitors and Cup colleagues--Fred Couples, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Nick Price, Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk--who are all in town and yet unable to make the short trip from a downtown hotel to Wall Streets' beautiful Cipriani ballroom. The first four are current World Golf Hall of Fame members, the last two will be inducted some day.

These lines from Love's speech suggest how he will feel about this no-show brigade when reflecting on the night, but only after he's soaked up the great vibes and love from his proud family:

I was lucky enough to play for Arnold and for Jack, too, when they were captains of Presidents Cup teams. I was lucky enough to have Watson, Kite, Watkins, Strange and Sutton as my Ryder Cup captains. I was a captain twice of Ryder Cup teams. This week I'll be an assistant captain of a Presidents Cup for a third time. When I look back over the 31 years of my professional career, my involvement in these team matches, matches that have brought together the world of golf, have meant as much to me as anything I have done in the game. And I'm looking forward to supporting my teammates this week at Liberty National.

Too bad they couldn't be bothered to return the Love.

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Reader Comments (37)

I agree how could the PGA Tour coordinate this so poorly, were any players from theUS or "international" team there?
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterPABoy
The fact that none were there - esp the other HOF ers, (Phil, Fred, Els, Price,) makes me wonder if there was a counter program going on for those folks?
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
What would Arnie do? Show up.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavidC
Maybe no one wanted to tell the teams this is the closest most of them will ever get to the Hall
Of Fame?
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOB
Efforts were made but ultimately it's up to the players to decide if they want to show their support for Davis and the other inductees, or, oh, I don't know, to pay your respects to other legends. They passed.
09.27.2017 | Registered CommenterGeoff
I can't get worked up over meatheads like Dustin and Berger not showing up. Rickie is a mild surprise just because he seems wise beyond his years and so respectful of elders. But Els, Price, Furyk? Pretty stunning.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
All I can think of is this:
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterD. maculata
Shack is now whining about no-shows. Just curious, Shack, were you there?
09.27.2017 | Unregistered Commenterno show
Says a lot about today's players and their respect for the game's traditions.

Now, if there was money involved for attending.......
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBud
If there was no good reason for not being there, then there is no good reason they weren't there.


While Phil is my go to favorite, very disappointed he was not there, which might well have brought out more teammates.

Hope there is a logical explanation. Certainly don't see one.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSportsDoc
Golf is not a team sport 95% of the time for PGA pros.

Different mindset, different results.

Not surprised at all by lack of seems like it's been happening for years.

Most probably had one of their sponsors wining and dining them at Jean Georges and Scores!
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterManku
@no show: Stupid and irrelevant comment -- whether or not Geoff was there, more pros should have been. (And btw, he was. I saw him.)
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRinger
Missed this on TV so thanks for posting some highlights Geoff.....not a ding here, but DLIII looks a little different to me in the video....lost some weight? dyed his hair darker? not sure but just looks a little different...maybe it's the lighting on stage???
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKeith - NYC
Presumably DL was going to go from that room to the "Team Room" at the Pres Cup. So either all those guys, including guys like Fred and Phil, who are supposedly good friends of Davis, are all ungracious, non supporting jerks, or maybe they have arranged something different that we just don't know about, that everyone was good with. I am going to assume the later. As far the event goes, the room certainly seemed pretty full, maybe families and friends were more encouraged to attend than PGA Tour pros.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
The LPGA has an event in New Zealand this week.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
Would have been a 5 - 6 hour commitment...not arguing that these guys were doing something valuable to prep for the Pres Cup but there's no way to argue this torture would have helped them play better.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJS
The problem you have is that it is just not a Hall of Fame. It is a Hall of Good Career. One major and a handful of wins, and they will probably let you in if they like you. Lanny is in. Mark Brooks is not? Everyone loves Freddie, but the guy is not in an area code of what a Hall of Fame should be.

The old women's standards that were concrete were the toughest Hall of Fame criteria around. I respected that for sure. I think Ochoa hit those numbers (I think that standard is now gone, but if not, then great work!)

The men do not care because it is just not a hard standard. You make it tough to achieve with specific criteria: e.g. must have career grand slam, 20 tour wins, then people are showing up...
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterMJR
"Whatever anyone may care to say about golf, at least one thing is mercifully certain, namely it is a voluntary affair."

- Henry Longhurst
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterFC
no show,
Check out Geoff's Twitter feed here at the top and then apologize. It's pretty clear he was there.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterDavidC
"makes me wonder if there was a counter program going on for those folks?"

Always the excuses Brian. Spoken like a true millennial.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKPK
@KPG - unfortunately for me, I was already 34 years old when the millenium changed.

As far as this thing goes - if 1 or two missed it, I would assume they couldn't be bothered. Since they all missed it, I hope / think there may be a rational explanation that we don't know about. I"m not sure what so called generation includes thinking better of people until proved otherwise, but I guess I am guilty of that.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterBrianS
While is may seem dissapointing, and I am a little bit, the make up of this HOF is riddled with problems. They have all been addressed at one time or another.

I can't hel but think BrianS called it-other places to be- and additionally some people cannot do 6 hours of anything ( unless it is a round of golf). I have missed one of my best friend's funeral in the last year and a half. Some people never go to funerals. Some people never go to events of this nature, be it golf HOF, or MLB,

the Only event(s) I really like attending are class reunions, but then I was President, and we had less than 50 in my class. (big fish/small pond?) Who knows why the President's Cup committe and the HOF committe did not coordinate times or maybe they did and no one gave a crap.

I know that I watched Woosie's acceptance ( a player I believe belongs in the criteria of this HOF) and while, i appreciate all the thank yous to all the important people, and they deserve to be thanked at such an event, it would be difficult for me to stay thru this ( then again, because of health issues, I come to Mass late and leave early) So who really knows....

I would not want to post this without congratulating all the inductees. Well done, one and all!

09.27.2017 | Unregistered Commenterdigsouth
I love golf. I love the history of golf. Many of you on here have seen me stand up for the traditions of the game.

With that said I watched a few minutes of this last night and I have to say that I don't think that I've seen a more boring presentation of any kind; at least not televised. Not sure what they can do to improve it but it was pretty terrible in my humble opinion.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJupiter
Agree with Jupiter. I watched a couple of speeches and the setting was just so dreary. Were they trying to make it look like the Hall of Fame? Or a bland ballroom at TPC Sawgrass? If you're going to move to to NYC, make it something fun and scenic. You know, make it AN EVENT. The Pro Football HOF at least does it at a football stadium outside. That creates atmosphere.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterJohn
If I was Davis Love the last thing in the world I would want is a bunch of players feeling obligated to attend his HOF induction ceremony. If any of them was a genuinely close friend, maybe then, perhaps.

I realize that a lot of commenters on this blog tend to jump at the chance to go "tut tut," but giving any of these guys the slightest amount of grief for "not attending a long, unexciting HOF induction ceremony at which a colleague is being honored," even an esteemed colleague, strikes me as absurd. I'll bet half of the commenters here have done something more exceptionable in the last half hour.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterWEG
Many people, regardless of age, are millennials.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterKPK
Inspirational story from Ochoa
09.27.2017 | Unregistered Commentergg
I watched this and was stunned that they didn't show up to acknowlege Love's induction. Especially since his great work at the recent Ryder Cup Captain. All those guys won because of their talent and his leadership. I saw Jack and Gary there. I wonder if Gary got emotional durilng his speech because of the lack of support. And he's not even an American but acknowledged. Very sad.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered Commenternancy
Nick Price made some amazing statements today for his team to donate to Hurricane Relief. Very compelling and inspiring. I'm not sure if it was a challenge to the American team...but right after that Steve Stricker acknowledged and, hopefully, Americans will match it.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered Commenternancy
I know I somewhat trashed the players in an earlier post, but Brian S. might be right.

When a good friend of mine along with myself were inducted into our State's Sports Officials HoF, we didn't ask any contemporaries to attend the actual induction. We knew it was boring. Instead, after, we had a "social" where everyone came and we had beers and told stories late into the night (or early morning).

They probably did something similar. I can't believe they stiffed DL III.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterSportsDoc
how can anybody ignore a. hall that has inducted such mamouth greats as Monty, Couples, Watkins and now Love
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterP Thomas
P Thomas: Monty has 3 Majors, 8 Merits and has single handedly won about half a dozen Ryder Cups, so all credit to him.
09.27.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRob S
Ahh Rob, a sense of humour I see !
09.28.2017 | Unregistered CommenterEasingwold
If Loerna was still playing LPGA ratings would be much higher. She had the "it" factor and was compelling to watch play. I miss her on the course That said; her speech was like listening to the boring guy in the bar give you "hole by hole"......for an entire career.
09.28.2017 | Unregistered CommenterConvert
Honestly half of the Presidents Cup players are more accomplished than these "Hall of Fame" inductees. I don't see how winning one major gets you a HOF nod. Love III may have captained the Ryder Cup but he and Woosnam are not exactly legends. I don't blame today's players for skipping the event.
09.28.2017 | Unregistered CommenterTy Webb
@Convert - LPGA ratings were still very very low when Lorena was the best on the LPGA. Let's be honest. There is no such thing as a high LPGA rating on television despite how good the golf is. Outside of some Olympic events womens professional sports ratings are generally worse than ratings for the latest and greatest copper cooking skillet informercial. Not to pick on Geoff but he noted in a Presidents Cuo thread that the LPGA was dark this week meaning no event. However the LPGA is playing a new event in New Zealand this week. That type of statement doesn't help the LPGA.
09.28.2017 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
Davis Love got in the HOF!!!?? Really?
That's got to be #fake news
09.30.2017 | Unregistered CommenterRedneck

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