O'Connor Senior on Hall of Fame ballot

By Brian Keogh

Irish golfing legend Christy O'Connor Senior has been included on the 2008 World Golf Hall of Fame International ballot.

The Galwayman, 83, won the first £1,000 prize to be offered in British golf at the Penfold-Swallow tournament held in 1955.

O'Connor's numerous tournament wins included the 1956 and 1959 British Masters. He also helped Ireland to win the Canada Cup in 1958 playing with Harry Bradshaw.

He played in every Ryder Cup from 1955 to 1973, setting a record of ten appearances in the event which stood until it was surpassed by Nick Faldo in 1997.

The International Voting Body, which is comprised of golf journalists, historians and golf dignitaries, determines who is elected through this category each year.

Election requires 65 percent of returned ballots. In the event that no candidate receives 65 percent, the nominee receiving the most votes with at least 50 percent is elected.

O'Connor received 19 percent of the votes in the 2007 International Ballot.

Of the 17 candidates on the PGA TOUR ballot, the top returning finishers from 2007 include Craig Wood (57 percent), Lanny Wadkins (50 percent) and Denny Shute (31 percent).

The International ballot, which has 10 candidates, will again include last year's vote leaders Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki (46 percent), Jose Maria Olazabal (43 percent), Sandy Lyle (37 percent) and Colin Montgomerie (27 percent).

"The distribution of the ballots is one of the most important aspects of the Induction process, and ultimately determines the next class of legends who will be honored within the World Golf Hall of Fame," said Jack Peter, the Hall's Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. "We value the voting body members' participation in the process and look forward to the results."

Australia's Craig Parry is a new addition to the International ballot, earning the necessary 50 points with a victory at the 2008 Australian Open. His record includes 13 PGA Tour of Australasia victories, five European Tour titles and participation on three Presidents Cup Teams with a singles matches record of 3-0-0. There were no new additions to the 2008 PGA TOUR ballot.

International ballot voters have the ability to nominate candidates for the Lifetime Achievement category and the World Golf Hall of Fame Advisory Board can nominate for both the Lifetime Achievement and Veterans categories. Both discretionary categories will be determined by the World Golf Foundation Board of Directors Selection Committee this Spring.

The 2008 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place this November at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.

Joe Carr, who died in 2003, became the first Irishman to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2007.

A lifelong amateur, Carr was inducted in the Lifetime Achievement Category after a glittering career that included three British Amateur championships (1953, 1958 and 1960), and four Irish Open Amateurs (1946, 1950, 1954 and 1956). Carr was also a Walker Cup stalwart, playing on 10 teams from 1947 to 1965, the most by any player from either side in the biennial matches.

2008 Candidates

Miller Barber
Bob Charles
Fred Couples
Doug Ford
Don January
Tony Lema
Davis Love III
Harold McSpaden
Mark O'Meara
Denny Shute
Macdonald Smith
Dave Stockton
David Toms
Ken Venturi
Lanny Wadkins
Craig Wood
Fuzzy Zoeller

2007 Results
Curtis Strange 70 percent
Craig Wood 57 percent
Hubert Green 52 percent *
Lanny Wadkins 50 percent
Denny Shute 31 percent
Doug Ford 30 percent
Bob Charles 23 percent
Tony Lema 23 percent
Ken Venturi 23 percent
Mark O'Meara 19 percent
Macdonald Smith 18 percent
Fred Couples 17 percent
Davis Love III 16 percent
Miller Barber 13 percent
Don January 13 percent
Fuzzy Zoeller 13 percent
Dave Stockton 9 percent
Harold "Jug" McSpaden7 percent
John Daly 2 percent
David Toms 1 percent

* Inducted in 2007 through the Veterans Category

International Ballot
2008 Candidates

Peter Alliss, England
Max Faulkner, England
Sandy Lyle, Scotland
Graham Marsh, Australia
Colin Montgomerie, Scotland
Christy O'Connor Sr., Ireland
Jose Maria Olazabal, Spain
Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki, Japan
Norman Von Nida, Australia
Ian Woosnam, Wales

2007 Results
Masashi "Jumbo" Ozaki 46 percent
Jose Maria Olazabal 43 percent
Sandy Lyle 37 percent
Colin Montgomerie 27 percent
Graham Marsh 20 percent
Christy O'Connor, Sr. 19 percent
Ian Woosnam 19 percent
Peter Alliss 18 percent
Kel Nagle 16 percent *
Norman Von Nida 10 percent
Max Faulkner 6 percent

* Inducted in 2007 through Veterans Category