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Golf Australia Express : OTG Express 154 - The Open preview
AUSTRALIA has started the week of The Open Championship with a victory, of sorts, in St Andrews. After nearly two decades of seemingly (and mysteriously) being overlooked, two- time major champion David Graham last night rightfully took his place in the World Golf Hall of Fame alongside five other Aussies – Peter Thomson, Kel Nagle, Greg Norman, Karrie Webb and Walter Travis. Graham, now 69, was overlooked for inclusion for years as other players found their way into the elite club, even without winning a major, like Colin Montgomerie did in 2013. Something had to change and, thankfully, the selection process was overhauled post-2013. And, so it was in front of a packed auditorium that justice was finally done for David Graham. Held outside the United States for the first time ever, the ceremony was held at the University of St Andrews, which has a wonderful history of recognising golf’s finest. The university has, in recent decades, conferred honorary Doctor of Law degrees to the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player. Before them, in 1958, it was the great Bobby Jones who shuffled his way to the podium of Younger Graduation Hall to accept citizenship of the Royal Burgh of St Andrews. "You people of St. Andrews have a sensitivity and an ability to extend cordiality in an ingenious way," he said. And it was no different last night as St Andrews turned on a memorable occasion that saw Graham, Dame Laura Davies, two-time major winner Mark O’Meara and course designer A.W Tillinghast – the Class of 2015 – inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. For Graham it was recognition of a long career that began when he turned professional at the age of 16 while working part-time in the Wattle Park Golf Course pro-shop in Melbourne. Over the next 25 years he won more than 20 tournaments worldwide, including the 1979 PGA Championship at Oakland Hills and was the first Australian to win the US Open, when he played a near perfect final round at Merion in 1981. He is still the only Australian to win two different major championships. “I’d like to be remembered for where I came from, to where I got to,” said Graham, who made his home in the US back in the 1970s. “I started out in a little back-room in Melbourne to finishing up being in the Hall of Fame. I’ve been married to the same woman for 46 years. I’ve got two good kids and helping to raise five grandchildren; but my goal was to come to the United States and be successful. So I think I’d just like to be remembered as a kid that came up and became successful. “This just puts the icing on the cake on what has been a nice career.” And to have it occur in St Andrews, the birthplace of the game, it was well worth the wait. OTG the VIEW BETTER LATE THAN NEVER DAVID GRAHAM FINALLY GETS THE RECOGNITION HE DESERVES, WRITES BRENDAN JAMES. by Brendan James Golf Australia editor Awarded #1 Overall Winner in the ‘2015 MyGolfSpy Most Wanted Driver Awards’ # 1 MOST WANTED DRIVER 2015 LEARN MORE
OTG Express 153
OTG Express 155 - The Open wrap