The World Golf Hall of Fame's Class of 2017

Plus those golfers who were considered but didn't get in (this time)

Lorena Ochoa laughing during the 2010 Lorena Ochoa Invitational tournament
Michael Cohen/Getty Images

Lorena Ochoa, Davis Love III, Meg Mallon and Ian Woosnam headline the World Golf Hall of Fame's Class of 2017, which was announced on Oct. 18, 2016.

Those five, along with writer and broadcaster Henry Longhurst, will be inducted into the Hall in a ceremony in New York on September 26, 2017, during the Presidents Cup week.

Interestingly, Ochoa and Mallon would not have been elected at this time under the Hall's old induction criteria that were based on the LPGA Hall of Fame points system - Ochoa because she did not meet the 10-years-on-tour threshold; Mallon because she fell just short of the points requirement. But the World Golf Hall of Fame stopped abiding by the LPGA's point system when the Hall changed its election criteria and process a couple years ago.

(Both Ochoa and Mallon would eventually have gotten into the Hall under the old process, but would have had to wait for the Veterans Committee to vote them in.)

Ochoa, Love, Mallon, Woosnam, and Longhurst were chosen by the World Golf Hall of Fame’s Selection Commission, a 16-member panel that considered 16 finalists.

Those finalists who were considered but did not (this time) gain entry were:

  • Susie Berning
  • Johnny Farrell
  • Max Faulkner
  • Peggy Kirk Bell
  • Catherine Lacoste
  • Graham Marsh
  • Sandra Palmer
  • Calvin Peete
  • Samuel Ryder
  • Macdonald Smith
  • Jan Stephenson

Longhurst was one of the great writers in golf history, penning a golf column for the London Sunday Times for four decades, broadcasting golf with the BBC for more than two decades.

Here's a brief look at the four golfers in the Class of 2017:

Davis Love III

Love arrived on the PGA Tour during the tail-end of the persimmon-driver era, and his early reputation was as a big bomber off the tee. When he dialed that back a little bit, gained more control, he started winning.

Love won 21 times on the PGA Tour, including one major, the 1997 PGA Championship, and two Players Championship wins. His first tour victory was in 1987 and his most-recent at age 51 in 2015.

Love also represented the United States on 15 national teams: as a player on the 1985 Walker Cup team, on six Presidents Cup teams and six Ryder Cup teams; and as a captain of the 2012 and 2016 Ryder Cup teams.

Meg Mallon

Mallon was one of the top golfers on the LPGA Tour during the 1990s and into the early 2000s, one of the tour's most-competitive eras. She won 18 times total, including four major championship victories: the 1991 LPGA Championship and 2000 du Maurier Classic, her crowning jewels, the U.S. Women's Open in 1991 and 2004.

Mallon played on eight Team USA Solheim Cup teams and captained the 2013 squad. She also was the first LPGA player to post a score of 60 in a tour event (but it happened two years after Annika Sorenstam shot 59).

Lorena Ochoa

Ochoa's LPGA Tour career was brief but jam-packed. She was Rookie of the Year in 2003 but retired following at the 2010 season at the age of 28.

In that short span, Ochoa won 27 times, including two majors. She was the LPGA Player of the Year four times, the money leader three times, the scoring champion four times.

Ochoa met the LPGA Hall of Fame points system requirement of 27 points in 2008, qualifying her for the World Golf Hall of Fame at that point. However, because she did not play 10 years on tour, she wasn't eligible, as noted at the top, for induction. Since the WGHOF no longer uses the LPGA point system, she became eligible to be voted in - and it was a no-brainer to do so.

Ian Woosnam

Woosnam was one of the vanguards of European golfers who emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s and turned the tide of the Ryder Cup from American domination to equality and (eventually) European domination.

Woosnam was the No. 1 player in the world rankings for nearly a year in the early 1990s, after winning the 1991 Masters. He was the European Tour's Player of the Year in 1987 and 1990. He had 29 career wins on the European Tour.

Woosnam played for Team Europe in eight Ryder Cups, all of them from 1983 through 1997, and captained during the 2006 Ryder Cup.

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