Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Hall Of Fame Candidates

A few weeks ago at the Ginn Open, the LPGA Hall Of Fame was a front-and-center topic because Laura Davies was in contention. She went to the 71st hole with the lead, but couldn’t hold onto it. That left Laura two points short of the 27 needed to gain induction to the Hall.

So besides Davies, who else is marching towards the Hall Of Fame?
Here are the qualifying rules. I put together a list of active veteran players and calculated their points. A player gets one point for a victory, another point if that victory was a major championship, one point for a Rolex Player Of The Year award and one point for a Vare Trophy (lowest scoring average). Here are the totals for the players I came up with:

Laura Davies 25
Meg Mallon 22
Liselotte Neumann 14
Lorena Ochoa 13

Cristie Kerr 9
Sherri Steinhauer 9
Rachel Hetherington 8
Mi Hyun Kim 8
Grace Park 8
Hee-Won Han 6
Pat Hurst 6

The players in bold have completed item #2 in the qualifications – they have won a major, or have won a POY or a Vare Trophy. I will assume that those who haven’t fulfilled the 10-year minimum requirement will all accomplish that. Davies and Mallon are in the best position, but only Laura has shown the ability recently to add to her point total. Mallon could still get her game back and pick up five points, but time is working against her. Neumann and Steinhauer aren’t going to make it. This late in their careers, they don’t have enough points in the bank. Pat Hurst has to get a move-on – she’s in her late 30s now. The chances of Pat racking up 21 points over the next ten years are pretty slim.

Other than Davies, the player with the best chance to reach the Hall Of Fame is Lorena Ochoa. Only 25 years old with 48% of the points necessary and the best player in the world – you’re not surprised are you? Actually, Lorena may be a better bet to get there than Laura. Cristie Kerr has to pick up that secondary qualification along the way but her chances are decent too. Mi Hyun Kim is about the same age as Cristie so she’s right behind her. Based on their ages, current levels of play and this list, my Top 5 choices for active players who could qualify for the Hall Of Fame are:

1. Lorena Ochoa
2. Laura Davies
3. Cristie Kerr
4. Mi Hyun Kim
5. Hee-Won Han

Sorry Grace, please force me to add you to this list a couple of years from now! It seems reasonable to expect the Veterans Committee to admit Davies and possibly Mallon too should they fall short of the 27 points, considering their major championships and Davies’ international career.

I need to come up with criteria for the Hound Dog Hall Of Fame – any suggestions?

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