Published May 07, 2013
| Sports Network
St. Augustine, FL – Fred Couples and Colin Montgomerie headlined the 2013 World Golf Hall of Fame class that was inducted on Monday evening.
Ken Venturi, Ken Schofield and Willie Park, Jr. were also inducted in this year's class. Venturi and Schofield were inducted via the Lifetime Achievement Category. Park was elected via the Veterans Committee.
Last year, Sandy Lyle became the first living Scot to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. He was joined by two others this year, Montgomerie and Schofield.
Couples was a 15-time winner on the PGA Tour, including the 1992 Masters. After playing on nine national teams (five Ryder Cups, four Presidents Cups), Couples will captain his third straight American Presidents Cup team this fall.
The previous two U.S. Presidents Cup squads were victorious. He was also an assistant captain to Davis Love III at the 2012 Ryder Cup.
Couples also won two Players Championship titles, was the PGA Tour Player of the Year twice and was the first American to reach the No. 1 spot in the world golf rankings.
"At the age of 14, I was lucky enough to go to a clinic at a course in Seattle that an unbelievable PGA Tour player was playing at, or doing a clinic, and I got up front and I was staring at him, and after a couple hours when I went back, I wasn't really the person who said that's what I want to do, I'm going to be a PGA Tour player, but I knew I wanted to really, really get involved in golf," Couples said at the induction. "And the gentleman's name was Lee Trevino, who has been a mentor and someone I love."
Montgomerie stands fourth on the European Tour all-time wins list with 31 victories. Those titles, the most by a Brit, helped him claim a record eight European Tour Order of Merit crowns.
Monty played on eight straight European Ryder Cup teams, and he captained the 2010 European team to a 1-point win at Celtic Manor. His posted a 20-9-7 Ryder Cup record, including 6-0-2 in singles matches.
The lone knock on Montgomerie's stellar record was the fact that he never won an event on American soil.
"This is the highest honor within the game, and I thank the committee for selecting me along with fellow inductees in 2013, Freddie Couples, Willie Park, Jr., Ken Schofield, and Ken Venturi, who we all wish a speedy recovery," Montgomery stated. "Thank you all for coming here this evening to celebrate what I think is the greatest game of them all, and I'm sure you all agree, a game that I started playing at the grand old age of five in Troon, Scotland. Mind you, in Troon, Scotland, that's about all you do."
Venturi, the 1964 U.S. Open champion, collected 14 PGA Tour titles before shifting to the broadcast booth. That move was made more because of injury than anything else.
Venturi battled Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which affected his ability to compete at the highest level. He spent 35 years as a broadcaster with CBS Sports, where he worked alongside fellow World Golf Hall of Fame inductee Frank Chirkinian.
Schofield was the European Tour's executive director from 1975-2004, and helped the tour expand from 17 events, which were mostly played in Western Europe, to 45 events in his penultimate year as the tour's leader. Those 45 tournaments were spread over four continents.
"This is a proud and humbling evening for me. This is the proudest moment of my professional career," Schofield said at the induction ceremony.
Park was a two-time British Open champion, and joins his father Willie Park, Sr. in the World Golf Hall of Fame. Along with being a champion golfer, the younger Park designed over 150 courses worldwide.
Among the more well-known courses on that list are Maidstone Club, which is just outside New York City; the North Course at Olympia Fields, near Chicago; and the famed Old Course at Sunningdale outside of London.