By John Strege
The World Golf Hall of Fame, its induction ceremony kicking off the festivities at the Players Championship the previous three years, went mostly ignored last week, not surprisingly. Earlier this year, Hall of Fame officials announced changes to the induction process and that the ceremony would become a biennial event, resuming in 2015.
Yet one Hall of Famer with a say in the nominating procedure and a microphone tipped his hand in looking ahead to next year.
“I’m going to be one of the voters,” NBC’s Johnny Miller said during the Thursday telecast of the Players. “I’ve got to believe Mark O’Meara will probably be the next one to go in, with two majors, a U.S. Amateur and a bunch of other wins, five times at Pebble Beach.”
Miller, in fact, does not have a vote. He is not part of the 16-person Selection Commission that will do the voting (75 percent approval, or 12 of 16 voters, is required for induction), though he is part of the 20-person selection subcommittee responsible for vetting candidates and presenting finalists to the Selection Commission.
Still, he presumably will advocate on behalf of O’Meara, who according to recent standards is overdue for induction. O’Meara, 57, has a more impressive resume than Fred Couples, who was inducted in 2013. Couples won 15 PGA Tour events, including the 1992 Masters, and has two European Tour wins. O’Meara has 16 PGA Tour victories, including the Masters and British Open in 1998, won the U.S. Amateur in 1979 and has three European Tour wins.
Of course, the Hall previously did not always get it right, which is why the World Golf Foundation board of directors instructed the Hall to revise its process.
(Getty Images photo)