Sandy Lyle, Peter Alliss elected to World Golf Hall of Fame
LONDON, ENGLAND (December 15, 2011) - The World Golf Hall of Fame & Museum will enshrine Sandy Lyle and Peter Alliss as the final members of the Class of 2012. Lyle was elected through the International Ballot, while Alliss was selected via the Lifetime Achievement Category.
Lyle and Alliss will be honored along with fellow 2012 inductees Phil Mickelson, Hollis Stacy and Dan Jenkins at the Hall of Fame's Induction Ceremony on May 7, 2012 at World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla. The Ceremony is held on the Monday of THE PLAYERS Championship week.
Both Lyle and Alliss were on hand when the official announcement was made by European Tour Chief Executive and World Golf Foundation Chairman George O'Grady and World Golf Hall of Fame Chief Operating Officer Jack Peter at The European Tour's Race to Dubai Golfer of the Year luncheon in London.
"This is a special day for The European Tour. Peter Alliss and Sandy Lyle are both very worthy candidates for the World Golf Hall of Fame," said O'Grady. "Peter followed a highly acclaimed playing career by becoming a hugely admired and wonderfully entertaining commentator. Sandy played a pivotal role in raising the image and popularity of British and European golf with his exceptional winning performances in the 1985 Open Championship, the 1987 PLAYERS Championship and the 1988 Masters Tournament."
"Congratulations to Sandy and Peter on this well-earned honor," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "Both have had tremendous global impacts on the game. Peter was an accomplished player and millions of fans have come to look forward to his signature broadcasting style. Sandy has an exceptional resume. He is an Open champion, the first British player to win the Masters and the first player from outside the United States to win THE PLAYERS Championship."
In all, Lyle has won 29 tournaments worldwide, including 18 on The European Tour and three other PGA TOUR titles. His victory at the 1985 Open Championship at Royal St. George's made him the first British winner since Tony Jacklin in 1969. He broke new ground at the 1987 PLAYERS, defeating Jeff Sluman in a playoff to become its first international champion. Lyle made history again at the 1988 Masters, making birdie on the 18th hole to become Augusta National's first British winner. In 1987, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE).
"I am not only delighted, but also very excited to be honored by the World Golf Hall of Fame," Lyle said. "I would like to thank all who voted for me -- to be placed in the company of the greatest names in our game is very special and I am looking forward so much to the Induction Ceremony next May."
Alliss began his commentating career with the BBC in 1961 at The Open Championship won by Arnold Palmer at Royal Birkdale. Alliss, son of Percy Alliss, one of the finest players of his generation, turned professional when still only 15. He won 23 tournaments worldwide during the 1950s and 1960s, including three British PGA Championships, and captured the Italian, Spanish and Portuguese Opens in three consecutive weeks. Twice a winner of the Vardon Trophy, he was selected for every GB & Ireland Ryder Cup team except one from 1953 to 1969 and played 10 times for England in the World Cup. Twice captain of the PGA of Great Britain and Ireland, the first President of the European Women's PGA and a Past President of the British Greenkeepers' Association, Alliss has also been associated with the design of more than 50 courses and is a respected author of more than 20 golf books.
"This is all very unexpected," Alliss said. "I am delighted, surprised, humbled and honored to be thought of in this way and to be given a place in the World Golf Hall of Fame particularly as it is chosen by people all around the world."
With the full class announced, the Hall of Fame will begin preparations for the Induction Ceremony.
"Sandy Lyle and Peter Alliss are terrific additions to the Hall of Fame," Peter said. "Along with Phil Mickelson, Hollis Stacy and Dan Jenkins, the Class of 2012 is international, diverse and rich with history. We are thrilled to honor all five inductees this May."