Ian Woosnam inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame
The 1991 Masters champion and 2006 European Ryder Cup captain Ian Woosnam has been inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame following the annual ceremony in New York.
Oswestry-born Woosnam, a former World No.1 and two-time European Tour No.1, joined Henry Longhurst, Davis Love III, Meg Mallon and Lorena Ochoa Reyes in the 2017 class of inductees.
Woosnam is the 33rd European Tour member to be inducted to the World Golf Hall of Fame, and the first since 2013; he was introduced by nine-time Major Champion Gary Player.
“To be inducted into the Hall of Fame with the greatest players ever, it’s a big thing,” said Woosnam.
“Gary was one of my heroes and I thought he would be one of the perfect guys to speak for me. He’s my sort of height and he’s tenacious; he’s just a really good friend and I thought he would be perfect for me."
The 59-year-old won 29 European Tour titles in a career spanning nearly 30 years before joining the European Senior Tour in 2008, when he went on to win the John Jacobs Trophy for topping the Order of Merit in his first season, yet his crowning achievement came in 1991.
Just a week after becoming World No.1, Woosnam was paired with Sir Nick Faldo, the man he usurped at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first round of the Masters Tournament. Both carded rounds of 71, five shots behind the leaders.
He moved just behind Tom Watson after 36 holes, and then took a one-stroke lead into the final day at Augusta National.
Spain’s José María Olazábal staked a claim for the Green Jacket and was level with Woosnam as he stepped onto the 18th tee, but a bogey saw him fall a shot behind both the Welshman and Tom Watson.
Watson, a two-time winner of the Masters, missed a 20-foot putt which may have forced a sudden-death play-off as Woosnam had a seven-footer to win.
As Olazábal watched on, his chance of victory out of his hands, Woosnam stepped up and holed the most important putt of his life, becoming the first ever Welsh Major Champion.
“For me, the putt on the 18th green at the Masters stands out the most,” said Woosnam. "It’s not about hitting all the shots. I had a seven-foot putt, and I can remember the times I used to be on the putting green on my local golf course and think ‘this is for the Masters, this is for the U.S. Open, this for The Open’.
“It’s just that moment and you’re in that time, and I think this is what it’s all about, trying to hole that putt. I would say that’s my best performance and my best shot.”