MIAMI, Florida, Apr 20 (Reuters) Multiple former major champions Larry Nelson and Henry Picard have been voted on to the World Golf Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2006, officials said in Savannah, Georgia.
American Nelson, who won the 1983 US Open and the US PGA Championship in 1981 and 1987, will be inducted with world number three Vijay Singh on October 30 at the World Golf Village in St.
Fijian Singh, also a three-times major winner, was elected on the PGA Tour ballot in 2005 but deferred his induction by a year because of a scheduling conflict.
American Picard, who died in 1997, will be inducted posthumously following a glittering career in which he won the 1938 U.S. Masters title, the 1939 US PGA Championship and 24 other PGA Tour events.
The trio's induction will lift the Hall of Fame membership to 112.
Longtime Georgia resident Nelson, 58, was close to tears after his election was announced by PGA Tour commissioner and World Golf Foundation (WGF) chairman Tim Finchem at the Savannah Harbor Resort and Spa.
''When I was informed that I had received enough votes to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, I was flooded with emotions,'' Nelson said in a statement yesterday.
GRATITUDE, HUMBLENESS ''Being honoured in this way brings feelings of gratitude and humbleness of a depth impossible to express. I look forward to sharing this blessing with family and friends.'' Nelson, a Vietnam War veteran, was elected on the PGA Tour ballot, securing 65 per cent of the vote. Picard was chosen by the WGF board of directors selection committee in the veteran's category.
''Larry Nelson and Henry Picard are most deserving of this high honour,'' said Finchem said.
''Larry's success was impressive both on the PGA Tour where, despite taking up the game at a relatively late age, he picked up a career-defining three major victories, and on the Champions Tour, where he continues to add to his already considerable resume.
''Henry Picard was one of the country's brightest stars in the decade leading up to World War II, where his victory total compares favourably to the likes of Sam Snead during that span.
''His name is inexorably linked, both personally and professionally, to some of the game's greatest players, including Snead, Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson, the latter of whom he out-duelled in a playoff to win the 1939 PGA Championship.'' The World Golf Hall of Fame's voting body comprises Hall of Fame members, golf writers and historians, the WGF board of directors and members of the Hall of Fame's advisory board.
REUTERS SC PM0529