Different Strokes: Tiger Woods ready to join golf’s greats in Hall of Fame

Kirk earns St Andrews ‘redemption’ . . . Kite flies highest in ’81 . . . . Scottie Scheffler’s sticks

Tiger Woods will be inducted into the golf Hall of Fame ahead of The Players in Florida this week. Photograph: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Not sure if Tiger Woods knows the line from The Script's hit single about "the world's gonna know your name" but his ascent into Golf's Hall of Fame this week – at a ceremony ahead of The Players at Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida – was only a matter of when, not if.

Woods, still absent from competitive golf as he rehabilitates from the injuries sustained in a car crash over a year ago, is part of the newest class of inductees into the honours list where the great and the good of the sport are featured (two Irishmen are among them, Joe Carr in 2007 and Christ O'Connor Snr in 2009).

He hasn’t been left waiting too long.

With a minimum age limit of 45 on new inductees, 15-time Major champion Woods (who is 46) has quickly secured his place in the HoF and is joined this week by three-time US Women's Open champion Susie Maxwell Berning in the competitors category.


Two other new members to get enshrined come from the non-playing category, with former PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem and the late Marion Hollins being inducted for their contributions to the sport.

Kirk gets ‘some serious redemption’ with St Andrews Open spot

A case off better late than never for Chris Kirk, who missed out on winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational but got a nice consolation prize when securing his place in this summer's 150th anniversary British Open at St Andrews through the two exemptions on offer.

Kirk was due to play in the 2015 championship but injured his right hand, supposedly after falling in a yard or someplace.

Turns out that was a big fib.

Kirk – who has since undergone an alcohol abuse rehab programme – actually sustained the injury after punching the wall which cost him his place at St Andrews and some two months on the circuit.

“That was pretty crushing for me to not be able to go to The Open that year. This is some serious redemption for me to get to go this year,” said Kirk, who took a leave of absence from the tour in 2019 to deal with his alcohol abuse and depression.

Ranked 522nd early on in 2020, Kirk is transformed these days and up to 79th after back-to-back top-10 finishes in the past fortnight.

Word of Mouth

"I had everything to win and nothing to lose!" – Ryan Brehm after his breakthrough win on the PGA Tour after capturing the Puerto Rico Open. Brehm, who had his wife Chelsey as his caddie, was playing in his one and only start on a medical exemption and needed a victory or solo second place to retain his PGA Tour status. He won by six strokes over Max McGeady. With the win, Brehm secured a full tour card, moved from 773rd in the world rankings up to 282nd and earned his ticket into this week's The Players at Sawgrass.

By the Numbers: 30

The men’s official world rankings, which began in 1986, featured a notable first this week. Scottie Scheffler’s win in the Arnold Palmer Invitational moved him to fifth in the updated rankings which ensure that, for the first time, all players inside the top-five are aged under 30 years of age.

Tom Kite won the Inverray Classic on this day in 1981. Photograph: Gary Newkirk/Allsport

On this day . . . March 8th, 1981

A dramatic finish to the Inverray Classic saw one man lifting the trophy and two others wondering how it had slipped from their grasps.

Curtis Strange had gone into the final round with a four-stroke lead only to throw shots away like confetti, while Jack Nicklaus had an opportunity to force a playoff only to miss a short par putt on the 18th green.

So it was that Tom Kite’s closing round 69 for a total of 14-under-par 274 that gave him a one-stroke winning margin over Nicklaus and two clear of a distraught Strange. “I just can’t believe it,” remarked Strange of his collapse.

Kite had been struggling somewhat after a couple of bogeys on the homeward run until he reached the 16th tee.

“My chin was dragging on the ground. I was standing on the 16th tee feeling lower than a snake’s belly. I was just trying to pick myself up and finish third,” said Kite, who then leapfrogged his way to the top with back-to-back birdies on the 16th and 17th holes and, helped by his main rivals’ woes, then only needed a par on the last to claim the title.

Twitter Twaddle

Man, what a week at @APInv! Came up a little short but extremely proud with how we battled on a difficult track like BVBay Hill. Fans were incredible all week. Congrats to Scottie! That kid is pretty good, huh? – Billy Horschel

Thanks @HWWCGolf for a great week in Singapore. T13 for me and lots to build on next week in Thailand – Leona Maguire on her showing at the HSBC World Championship. Maguire is currently fourth on the Race to CME Glode order of merit on the LPGA Tour and plays in this week's Honda LPGA Thailand tournament, a no-cut 68 players field event.

First 4 weeks of the season done in South Africa. 2 top 20s the last couple of weeks. Plenty good and plenty to improve on. Home for 2 weeks to reset and get ready to go again – John Murphy, who has made a solid start to his Challenge Tour season. The Corkman currently lies 32nd on the Race to Mallorca standings.

In the Bag: Scottie Scheffler (Arnold Palmer Invitational)

Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (8 degrees)
3-wood: Nike VR Pro (13.5 degrees)
Utility: Srixon Z U85 (3)
Irons: Srixon ZX7 (4), TaylorMade P7TW (5-PW)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM8 (50 and 56), Titleist Vokey Design 2021 Proto (60 degrees)
Putter: Scotty Cameron Special Select Timeless Tourtype GSS Tour Prototype
Ball: Titleist ProV1

Know the Rules

A player finds her ball by stepping on it in thick rough after searching for it for two minutes, causing it to move. What is the ruling?

There is no penalty if a player causes their ball to move while trying to find or identify it. If the ball is moved during a search, the ball must be replaced on its original spot (which, if not known, must be estimated) (Rule 7.4).