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July 18, 2007

Peter Dawson

Jack Peter

Gary Player


STEWART McDOUGALL: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for attending this World Golf Hall of Fame conference. We start off by introducing Peter Dawson, chief executive of The R&A and a member of the World Golf board of directors.
PETER DAWSON: Thank you, Stewart. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm absolutely delighted that the World Golf Hall of Fame has chosen The Open Championship as the platform to announce the final two members of a six strong 2007 class of inductees.
It will become clear in a moment why it is so appropriate that this announcement be made at The Open. One of the inductees is a significant past champion. The other is a past captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews.
I don't want to steal any more of his thunder, so I will now introduce Jack Peter, the senior vice-president and chief operating officer of the World Golf Hall of Fame who will supply all the details.
JACK PETER: Thank you, Peter. I do want to take a minute to thank Peter Dawson and the staff of The R&A for their continued commitment to the World Golf Hall of Fame and for welcoming us again to The Open Championship. As many of you know, this is our third year we've been able to come here and make an announcement, and we're pleased to be back.
As Peter said, we're announcing the final two inductees for the class of 2007 today. They will join the following for induction this fall. We previously announced Hubert Green, Charles Blair MacDonald, Se Ri Pak has qualified, and Curtis Strange is coming in through the PGA ballot.
The induction ceremony will take place on November 12th at the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Florida. As usual, we hope to see you all there.
So now for the announcement and the first inductee. This individual will join four fellow Australians currently in the Hall of Fame, Greg Norman, Peter Thomson, Walter Travis and Karrie Webb. Born in 1920 just north of Sydney, this individual won the 1960 Open Championship on The Old Course at St. Andrews. He holds 61 PGA Tour of Australasia titles, seven New Zealand Opens, seven new New Zealand PGAs, seven New South Wales PGAs, and six Australian PGAs. Alongside fellow Hall of Fame member Peter Thomson, he won the 1954 and 1959 World Cup Championships.
Ladies and gentlemen, we're pleased to announce a Kel Nagle has been selected for induction in the veterans category. Kel still resides in Australia and unfortunately was unable to travel to be here today. But I spoke to him two weeks ago, and he is thrilled. He's been keeping track and he wishes everyone well and wishes a great championship this week. We're pleased to have Kel come into the Hall of Fame.
Our next individual is the winner of three British Amateur Championships, has played in 10 Walker Cups. He's been the recipient of the USGA Bob Jones Award. He was named captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews in 1991 and he's considered Ireland's premier amateur player with 37 Irish Championships to his credit. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm proud to announce that the late Joe Carr will be inducted through the lifetime achievement category, marking the first Irishman to come into the World Golf Hall of Fame. His son Roddy is here, and congratulations to you and your entire family.
On behalf of the members of the Hall of Fame and our staff and volunteers, I'd like to welcome Kel and Joe. We look forward to honoring their legacies for years to come.
I'd like to introduce Gary Player to say a few words about Joe and about Kel.
GARY PLAYER: Jack, I had the privilege of playing in Australia 31 times and got to know Kel Nagle very well, indeed. I can honestly say I never met anybody in my life that didn't really like Kel Nagle. He was a thorough gentleman. He was a man who played around the world, and we all love golf so much and we all admire people who try and promote the game around the globe.
Some people are very insular in the way that they like to play and only play in their respective countries. To give you an example, I was quite sad to see some young man who qualified for this great Championship, the greatest championship in the world, and said he wasn't too keen to travel over here because it was a long way and he didn't know about the condition and the course. I would have hitchhiked to have got over here and played in this great Championship.
And Kel Nagle is a man who went around promoting the game of golf, being a role model that we like to see top players do. And he was really one of the best short game players I ever saw, from 50s yard in, bunker shots, chipping and putting, he wasn't very long off the tee, very straight, one of the greatest short games I've ever seen.
I'm sure he's going to be thrilled. I think he's 87, if I worked that out correctly. It's nice to go to your grave at 87 knowing that you've been recognised and going into the Hall of Fame, which is very important in an athlete's career. And Charlie Sifford, who I had the pleasure of inducting into the Hall of Fame, he explained it this way, you know, I always cross the road and look right and left. The last few months I've been looking five times to the left and five times to the right, because I didn't want to die before I got inducted into the Hall of Fame it means so much to me.
Joe Carr, when I came to this country I had the pleasure of playing with Joe. What a striker of the ball he was. If Joe Carr could have putted well, there's no telling what he would have done. In spite of his great record, he might have even won The Open. He was as fine an amateur golfer as I ever saw. Big, strong, hit the ball a long way, great swing, could play in all kinds of conditions. But he had a great personality.
And to become captain of The R&A, who we all cherish and value their values and what they do for the game of golf around the world, you don't become captain of The R&A unless you're a very special person, and I think that's self-explanatory.
And to Roddy, who is here today, he must be feeling very proud about Joe. And Roddy has continued along with the torch, and he is also doing a lot for golf. And so his entire family who must be feeling very, very proud to know that he is the first Irishman to join the Hall of Fame. That is something very, very special.
And Ireland is a very special place for golf, with all those great golf courses, like Scotland. And Roddy, congratulations, you must be feeling great because there's nothing like a good family. I think that's what we all cherish. And they certainly are a family of great love. Thank you.
JACK PETER: Thank you, Gary. At this time we'll open up the floor if there's any questions, we will take them now.

Q. Just a small point, you said that C.B. MacDonald is being introduced into the Hall of Fame. Why has it taken so long to bring him into the Hall of Fame?
JACK PETER: Well, the process for induction into the Hall of Fame, first of all, this Hall of Fame, this version of the Hall of Fame, started in 1998. And in 1999, 2000 we established a lifetime achievement and a veterans category.
Through the natural process of nomination and vetting that list, it simply has taken this long for C.B. MacDonald to get to the top of that list. So we are making progress and we think we're nine and a half years into it. Ask me again in nine and a half years.

Q. Where did you play with Joe Carr? Do you remember the occasion?
GARY PLAYER: Many places. Played at St. Andrews with him, that was the first place that I played with him, and in Ireland. We played on quite a few occasions. And also at the Masters in America. So we played many times together. He putted with a 2-iron a lot of times. They didn't have a long putter in those days. He putted with a 3-iron. So it's a pity they didn't have the long putter.

Q. Who won the money?
GARY PLAYER: The right person (laughter). That you can take two ways. Have you ever seen an Irishman play a bet?

Q. Could you recount your most prominent memories of the playoff you had with Kel Nagle at Belle Rive?
GARY PLAYER: It was very, very hot, in the middle of summer, as you know in St. Louis. It's hard to explain to a lot of people if they've never been there how hot it is. After tying with Kel, I was never more confident of winning a tournament, or I did it with, if I may say, in a quiet manner, but inwardly I was never so confident of beating anybody because I was probably the most fit -- and not probably, I was definitely the strongest.
I weighed 26 pounds more than I weigh now, and I was squatting in those days with 320 pounds, not with this beautiful modern machinery. I was so strong, I even wore black in that heat.
And today I shudder to think how I did it. Kel was a lot older than me. I was 29 at that stage, so he was 15 years older, which was a remarkable difference as far as fitness was concerned, and particularly in that heat.
He was unlucky. He was unlucky at either the 4th or the 5th hole. He got in the rough and hooked the ball and the club twisted in the rough and hit somebody on the shoulder. He came down and he had a double bogey on the hole, which was a break for me but unlucky for him.
But you had to be careful because he never missed fairways. Honestly, he just put it down that fairway all the time, and he had this little putting stroke where he picked the putter up like that above the ball and gave it a little pop. It's hard to say, I didn't see many people putt better than he did. If you remember -- Peter, he won his open at St. Andrews, playing with Arnold.
PETER DAWSON: He beat Arnold.
GARY PLAYER: He beat Arnold into second place. It's worth watching this man putt. So it was -- but he was just -- like Tiger, like Jack, people that are great in victory and in defeat, Kel was -- you'd never know he lost, although I'm sure he went home and felt bad.
JACK PETER: Thank you all. November 12th, see you in St. Augustine, Florida. Have a great week.

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