David Graham’s Golf Hall of Fame shame

Australian David Graham’s continued omission from the annual World Golf Hall of Fame ballot has been well documented in Australian golf publications over the past few years.

The winner of 38 tournaments on five continents around the world, including two Majors, has been routinely passed over for inductees with seemingly inferior records to his own.

David Graham David Graham (Credit: Anthony Powter)

His exclusion is a mystery to most, not the least to the man himself, who has campaigned for changes in the induction process. I last spoke with Graham on the issue in 2011 and he was as passionate about flaws in the process and the inability of other players to make the Hall as he was about his own situation.

Graham, 66, questioned Sandy Lyle’s exclusion at the time, although the Scot was subsequently inducted in 2012.

Despite winning the same number of Majors as Lyle and more events around the world and against the deepest fields on the PGA Tour, Graham will again look on this year as Fred Couples, Ken Venturi, Colin Montgomerie, Willie Park Jnr and Ken Schofield are inducted to the Hall in a ceremony on May 6 in Florida.

While not naming names, Hall of Famer Raymond Floyd has recently made his views clear on some of the recent WGHOF inductee decisions in an interview for Golf Magazine in the United States.

“I’ll just say that you should have at least two majors. At least! ” Floyd said. “Guys get voted into the Hall of Fame who don’t belong, who lack the numbers.”

“It takes integrity away from the term “Hall of Fame.” I’m very upset at the Hall of Fame.”

Floyd’s comments have hit a nerve on chat sites and with bloggers around the world who have had their attention drawn to Graham’s plight as a result.

After reading his peer’s comments, Graham said “It’s an interesting scenario because Raymond basically said some things that I have thought all along.”

“It’s hurtful,” Graham has said on being continually overlooked. “When you have a record that should mean something and it doesn’t, you have to wonder what’s going on.”

“It’s been disappointing to not even be considered, and I think Raymond made some very good points. But for me to say it doesn’t carry the same weight as a player who already is in the Hall of Fame.”

With Graham expected to feature in public ceremonies with past champions to mark the U.S. Open’s return to Merion Golf Club in June, the site of Graham majestic 3 stroke victory when the championship was last played at the Philadelphia layout in 1981, public scrutiny, commentary and pressure on the Hall to right this embarrassing blight on their credibility will undoubtedly continue in the coming months.

“All I have is my record, and it’d be nice if someone could explain to me how it’s not good enough.” Graham concluded.