Golf legends to join World Hall of Fame

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15:  L-R: Jack Peter (World Golf Hall of Fame Chief Operating Officer) of theat Royal Lancaster Hotel on December 15, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 15: L-R: Jack Peter (World Golf Hall of Fame Chief Operating Officer) of theat Royal Lancaster Hotel on December 15, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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TWO of Britain’s most celebrated golfing figures, Peter Alliss and Sandy Lyle - both of whom have local connections through being honorary members of St Andrews golf clubs - are to be honoured for their contribution to the game when they are inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in the USA.

Peter Alliss – selected via the lifetime achievement category – and Sandy Lyle, elected through the international ballot, will be honoured along with fellow 2012 inductees Phil Mickelson, Hollis Stacy and Dan Jenkins at the ceremony to be held on May 7, 2012, at the World Golf Village in St Augustine, Florida.

Peter Alliss is an honorary member of the XIXth Hole Golf Club of St Andrews, while Sandy Lyle holds a similar title with the St Andrews Thistle Golf Club.

European Tour chief executive and World Golf Foundation chairman George O’Grady said: ”Peter Alliss and Sandy Lyle are both very worthy candidates for the World Golf Hall of Fame.

“Peter followed a highly acclaimed playing career by becoming a hugely admired and wonderfully entertaining commentator, while Sandy played a pivotal role in raising the image and popularity of British and European golf.”

Sandy Lyle’s career is highlighted by his victories in the Open Championship at Royal St George’s in 1985 and in the 1988 Masters Tournament, the first British winner at Augusta National.

In total he has won 29 tournaments worldwide, including 16 on the European Tour, and in 1987 he was awarded the MBE.

The 53-year-old Scot said: ”I am not only delighted, but also very excited to be honoured by the World Golf Hall of Fame.

‘‘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.”

Sandy Lyle’s triumphs in the Open and Masters were two of many memorable television occasions commentated on by Peter Alliss, whose career behind the microphone began with the BBC in 1961 at the Open Championship won by Arnold Palmer at Royal Birkdale.

Peter turned professional when only 15 and he won 23 tournaments worldwide during the 1950s and 1960s, including three British PGA Championships.

He was selected for every Great Britain and Ireland Ryder Cup team except one from 1953 to 1969 and played 10 times for England in the World Cup.

Peter (80) said: ”This is all very unexpected. I am delighted, surprised, humbled and honoured 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.”