Friday, September 04, 2009

Fourteen years after he became eligible for induction to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., Lanny Wadkins will be enshrined on Nov. 2. He'd like to know what took so long.

"I feel like I'm kind of at the end of my peer group who will be getting in," Wadkins, 59, says in the October issue of Golf Magazine. "It's lost a little bit of its luster for me."

Wadkins won 21 times on the PGA Tour and established himself as a Ryder Cup stalwart, accruing 21.5 points in eight appearances. He also won the 1979 Players and the 1970 U.S. Amateur. But Wadkins won just one major, the 1977 PGA Championship, which undoubtedly delayed his election. Wadkins has never understood why.

"[Ben] Crenshaw's got two Masters, [Tom] Kite's got one Open, Hubert [Green] has two majors, Curtis [Strange] has two Opens — and they're all in," Wadkins says in the interview. "I've got a U.S. Amateur, a PGA and a Players, and I've got more wins than any of those guys. I've got more Ryder Cups. I've got more Walker Cups. Would I be disappointed if I wasn't in and all those guys weren't in? Not at all.

"Put it this way," Wadkins continues, "when [my son] Tucker was 12 he came down the stairs one morning just after they had announced that Vijay [Singh] was going into the Hall of Fame. He said: 'Dad, guess what? Vijay got into the Hall of Fame. They finally put somebody in the Hall of Fame that's won more than you have.' He figured it out — at 12 years old."

Joining Wadkins in the Hall of Fame class of 2009 will be Jose Maria Olazabal, Christy O'Connor Sr., and the late President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

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