Raymond Floyd calls current Hall of Fame voting "a joke"
The four-time major winner says inductees over the last decade devalue the term 'Hall of Fame'
Published on Monday, Feb. 18, 2013 12:19PM EST
In an interview with Golf magazine, Raymond Floyd takes issue with the way the voting for the Golf Hall of Fame has gone lately.
“The bar has been lowered. Guys get voted into the Hall of Fame who don't belong, who lack the numbers,” Floyd tells Connell Barrett.
“Just look at the inductees over the last six, eight, 10 years. Some years, I don't even vote because the names are not worthy of induction. One major should not get you into the Hall of Fame -- maybe one major and 40 wins. I'm not gonna pick a guy with one major and 11 wins.”
The last statement would seem to be a hard knock against 2013 inductees Colin Montgomerie and Fred Couples. Between them, they have won a grand total of one major (Couples in 1992 at the Masters).
“I'll just say that you should have at least two majors. At least! Wow, there are guys in there that it's a joke. It takes integrity away from the term ‘Hall of Fame.’”
Floyd also pointed to the amount of money that’s available today on the PGA Tour, saying it has made some players lazy.
“In my day, we had to grind for every penny. It's not only what they're making on course, but off. The contracts are astronomical. You need drive and fire to be your best, regardless of money. Guys like Tiger and Phil make tens of millions, but they still want to win majors. But these days some J. O. Jones journeyman is thrilled to be 50th on the money list. ...Some guys make so much that they're content; winning doesn't matter because they've got a great lifestyle.”
Floyd also fondly talks about his late wife Maria, who passed away after a battle with a rare form of cancer. He recalls a day in 1974 when he says she set him straight about being a professional golfer.
“At the 1974 Jacksonville Open, I'm five-over on Friday, and I'm not making the cut. Bob Rosburg finds me and says, ‘Withdraw and we'll go to Miami.’ A weekend in Miami sounded good, so I withdraw. I get back to the hotel to pack, and Maria is very upset. She said, ‘We're not leaving until Sunday. We came here for the week, and we're staying.’ We stayed and talked and had an incredibly honest weekend that changed everything. She said, ‘You're 31, young enough to change your career if you don't like golf. But whatever you do, give it 100 percent.’ That woke me up. It was the same lesson my dad taught me. From that day forward, I took pride in my job. Ever since, I've never not tried on a shot. I may shoot 80, but I'm giving every swing 100 percent. Maria had a unique wisdom. I was blessed to have her in my life. I had two careers: before meeting Maria, and after.”
You can read more of the Floyd interview here.
IN THE KNOW: We haven’t seen Rory McIlroy since he missed the cut last month in Abu Dhabi which coincided with a splashy introduction as Nike’s newest staff member. Many golf observers are still wondering if the off-season equipment change will be the young Irishman’s undoing.
Not so, says someone who, you figure, would be in the know - girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.
“He likes his new clubs and is very comfortable with them. He’s going to play a tournament this week and hopefully he’s going to do well,” she told AFP in a phone interview ahead of a tennis tournament in Hong Kong.
Wozniacki also revealed that the pair are quite the gym rats.
“We do a lot of training together and he likes the gym, he goes every day. We often hit the gym together,” she said.
“You can always learn something, and obviously Rory is (world) number one. It gives you a different view in terms of sport and it’s nice to be able to draw from that experience.”
ONLY THE SHADOW KNOWS: The latest preview tweet of the upcoming Tiger Woods PGA Tour 14 has raised a few Spokian eyebrows.
"I don't really have anything good to say about the 10th hole. I think it's a funky golf hole. ... I think you could play here 10,000 times and still not know how to play No. 10. To play a playoff hole, I think it's a great hole, don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking it, but it's just a tough hole to have a playoff on. We might as well go and put a windmill out there and hit some putts." -- Charlie Beljan, who bogeyed the 10th hole at Riviera to lose a playoff to John Merrick at the Northern Trust Open