Els selected for Hall of Fame

2010-09-22 19:28

Atlanta - Three-times major winner and former world number one Ernie Els has been voted into the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2011.

The 40-year-old, whose selection in the Hall of Fame's PGA Tour category was announced on Wednesday, will be inducted on May 9 at the World Golf Village in St Augustine, Florida.

"It was quite a surprise," South African Els told reporters with a broad smile at East Lake Golf Club. "I thought you had to be a little bit more senior.

"You'd like to think you could have done more and can still do more, but obviously I'm very, very honored to be inducted."

Popularly known as the 'Big Easy' because of his imposing physique and laidback demeanour, Els earned Hall of Fame selection in the first year he was on the PGA Tour ballot.

"Obviously this makes the year, it makes you feel very good about what you've done," said the 18-times PGA Tour champion.

"I've had a lot of achievements and I've won a lot of golf tournaments, especially worldwide. So for a boy from South Africa, that's kind of nice."

Els has won more than 60 professional tournaments worldwide, including the US Open in 1994 and 1997 and the 2002 British Open at Muirfield.

He has triumphed twice on the 2010 PGA Tour and qualified for the elite 30-strong field competing for this week's Tour Championship at East Lake.

His selection for the Hall of Fame was applauded by fellow South African Gary Player, a nine-times major winner who is also a member of the elite group.

"Ernie certainly deserves this recognition, as he epitomises a 'world' golfer," Player said in a statement. "He is a credit to the game and an ambassador for the sport.

Els joins American Doug Ford, the late Jock Hutchison and former President George H.W. Bush in the Hall of Fame's class of 2011.

Ford and Scotland-born Hutchison, each of whom won two major titles, were selected in the veterans category.

"It took a little while, but I think it's great they're doing this while I'm still alive," said 19-times PGA Tour champion Ford. "It is an honour of which I am deeply proud."

President Bush was selected in the lifetime achievement category, having helped raise golf's profile during and after his presidential administration.

In 1996, he served as honorary chairman of the Ryder Cup-style Presidents Cup and he has since attended every edition of the biennial team competition.


  • pdw - 2010-09-22 19:50

    Mooi gedaan Ernie, jy verdien dit!

  • Shirley Long - 2010-09-22 21:06

    Well done Ernie. You are doing South Africa proud, as you have done so many times in your career.

  • Willie Uys - 2010-09-22 21:38

    Well gedaan ou Grote. Jy het nog maar net begin. Daar wag nog baie groter dinge op jou pad. Dankie vir wat jy vir jou familie, gholf en sport in Suid Afrika en ons mooi land gedoen het en nog doen. Mag jy ryklik geseend wees.

  • Kanga - 2010-09-22 21:42

    Go you good thing!!!!!!!!!

  • niel - 2010-09-22 22:09

    Baie geluk. Baie trots op jou as Suid Afrikaner, deur die jare baie geniet om jou dop te hou. Ek stem saam met Willie Uys .

  • Rudolph - 2010-09-22 23:46

    Baie geluk Ernie. As een van jou grootste ondersteuners wil ek jou bedank vir alles wat jy deur die jare vir Suid Afrika beteken het. Ek glo ook dat jy ten minste nog een "Major" in jou het - verkieslik die ontwykende Masters. Jy is Ernie Els - jy kan enige toernooi wen wat jy werklik wil.

  • mike - 2010-09-23 00:54

    Well done Big Easy! You definately deserve it, go win one more major though just for the fun of it!

  • DJ - 2010-09-23 01:05

    Baie geluk en welgedaan Ernie - daar le nog BAIE wenne vir jou voor in jou loopbaan!!

  • Adrian - 2010-09-23 09:53

    Well done Ernie, brilliant achievement. Hope to see the legend at Leopard Creek. Cheers

  • Kevin - 2010-09-23 16:20

    That's our Ernie-SA is extremely proud of your achievements!!! And thank-you for all the hours of nail-biting aswell.

  • Barry Groenewald - 2010-10-10 22:02

    I second what Willie said, we are emensly proud of you and your family and I also have the feeling there may still be quite a bit to come in the future. Could not have happend to a nicer guy, South Africa is proud of you.

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