I DON’T HAVE A VOTE, but if I did I’d cast my ballot for Doug Ford to enter the World Golf Hall of Fame. Ford was again bypassed this year, although he did finish second in the voting, appearing on 46 percent of the ballots. Lanny Wadkins is the sole 2009 inductee.
“I’ll put my record up against just about anyone’s in the hall,” Ford recently told Randall Mell of GolfChannel.com.
“I think I have a hell of a record. I don’t know what they’re looking for. I don’t know what the knock on me is, but I’m just not that enthused about it anymore. If they don’t appreciate what I’ve done, I can’t do anything about it.”
Let’s look at Ford’s record. Nineteen PGA Tour wins. Two majors: the 1957 Masters, beating Sam Snead by three shots, and the 1955 PGA Championship, beating Cary Middlecoff in the final (when the PGA was a match-play event). Also four Ryder Cup teams.
Looks awfully good, doesn’t it?
As Mell notes (and I’ve added a few names), Ford played in the era of Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Cary Middlecoff, Arnold Palmer, Julius Boros, Tommy Bolt, Gene Littler and others. All winners and tough competitors. It was back in the day when you sometimes needed to win or finish high just to make enough money to get to the next event, as Bolt told me last year.
There are several players in the Hall who were elected with fewer wins or majors (or both) than Ford: Tom Kite (18 wins, one major), Tommy Bolt (15 wins, one major), Bob Charles (18 wins, one major), Gene Littler (29 wins, one major) and Chi Chi Rodriguez (eight wins, no majors).
“It’s a travesty Doug’s not in. Evidently, he alienated some people,” Bob Goalby said.
Probably so. Ford was known for his feisty personality. It’s part of what made him a great player.
The voting body consists of 200 journalists, historians and dignitaries. Hurry up, guys. Put Ford in. He’s 86. And he deserves it.
−The Armchair Golfer