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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Carol Semple Thompson to be
awarded a place in World
Golf Hall of Fame

Captain of the United States Curtis Cup for this year's historic match over the Old Course, St Andrews, Carol Semple Thompson, a seven-time winner of USGA championships, will be recognized alongside posthumous inductees Denny Shute, Craig Woodand golf writer Herbert Warren Wind as part of the 2008 Class at this year's World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The announcement was this week at Interlachen Country Club, site of the 2008 U.S. Women's Open.
Shute, Thompson, Wind and Wood will be inducted alongside golf course architect Pete Dye and one other inductee who will be announced later this summer.
"Carol's life in golf is that of the quintessential amateur," said Carol Mann, World Golf Hall of Fame member and ambassador. "Her game is strong, but her grace, humility, dedication, and humour are her strongest assets. She has contributed with intelligence and integrity, preserving the best interests of the game of golf in each of her leadership roles.
"Her parents, Phyllis and Bud, both past leaders of the USGA, would be very proud of this new honour and recognition as a 2008 inductee into the World Golf Hall of Fame."
On the news of Shute, Wind and Wood, Hall of Fame member Ben Crenshaw said, "The induction of these individuals is richly deserved, and I think anyone who studies what they have achieved would be overjoyed for them and their families.
"When I heard the news, I went immediately to Mr. Wind's book 'The Story of American Golf' and was struck by the irony of it all. In that book, Mr. Wind so eloquently details the pursuits of Denny Shute and Craig Wood, two men with incredibly successful careers that often overlapped. And now, so many years later, the three will forever be linked again as they join the Hall of Fame's Class of 2008."
Shute, selected in the Veterans Category, had 15 PGA Tour victories to his credit, including three majors: the 1933 British Open and 1936 and 1937 US PGA championships. For 63 years, Shute carried the title as the last man to win back-to-back US PGA Championship titles until Tiger Woods achieved the same in 1999 and 2000.
Shute was a member of three U.S. Ryder Cup teams: 1931, '33 and '37.
Shute first started winning as an amateur in West Virginia before returning to his native Ohio to win the Ohio Amateur in 1927 and the Ohio Open from 1929-31. From 1945 until he retired in 1972, he was the head professional at Portage Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Shute was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Oct. 25, 1904 and died May 13, 1974.
Thompson, selected in the Lifetime Achievement Category, is one of only 11 golfers to have won the United States Women's Amateur and British Ladies Open Amateur, events she won in 1973 and '74 respectively.
She has won six additional USGA championships: the 1999-2002 USGA Senior Women's Amateurs and the 1990 and '97 United States Women's Mid-Amateurs. She has played in more than 100 USGA championships, including 32 U.S. Women's Opens.
Thompson played on a record 12 USA Curtis Cup teams and captained the victorious 2006 and 2008 USA teams. She has played for the United States in five Women's World Amateur Team Championships (She is pictured above by Cal Carson Golf Agency on the first tee at the Old Course during the recent Curtis Cup match).
Thompson has served on the USGA Women's Committee and Executive Committee, as well as on the Advisory Committee for the PGA of America. She won the USGA's 2003 Bob Jones Award, the Association's top award given in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf, and the 2005 First Lady of Golf Award presented by the PGA. She was born on Oct. 27, 1948 in Sewickley, Pa., where she still resides.
Wind, selected in the Lifetime Achievement Category, wrote for The New Yorker from 1947 to '53 and again from 1960 to '90, when he retired. He spent the interim years writing for Sports Illustrated, and, in April 1958, termed the phrase "Amen Corner" when writing about holes 11, 12 and 13 at Augusta National Golf Club. Wind also wrote several books about golf including "The Story of American Golf" and "Five Lessons: The Modern Fundamentals of Golf," written with fellow Hall of Fame member Ben Hogan.
Wind graduated from Yale University and earned a master's degree in English at Cambridge University in England. He won the USGA's Bob Jones Award in 1995 and remains the only writer to have ever done so. He also served as a volunteer on two USGA committees for nearly 30 years. Wind was born Aug. 11, 1917, in Brockton, Mass., and died May 30, 2005.
"Mr. Wind, in my mind, is the foremost golf writer in America," Crenshaw added. "He knew so many people and witnessed so much in golf history and had the talent to make people come to life through his writing. He enriched my life beyond golf and encouraged my love of golf history. He was a remarkable person."
Wood, elected on the PGA TOUR Ballot with 65 percent of the vote, earned 21 US PGA Tour titles, including the 1941 Masters, where he became the first wire-to-wire winner of that tournament.
Wood won the U.S. Open the same year, becoming the first person to capture the first two major championships in one year. He also was a member of three Ryder Cup teams: 1931, '33 and '35.
Wood was born in Lake Placid, N.Y., on Nov. 18, 1901, and died May 8, 1968. In 1948, Wood's home city of Lake Placid honoured him by renaming the Lake Placid Golf and Country Club the Craig Wood Golf Course.
"The World Golf Hall of Fame continues to recognize the greatest players and contributors that this game has seen, regardless of the era in which they lived," said Jack Peter, senior vice president and COO of the Hall of Fame. "The Class of 2008 will be a convergence of those from a bygone era with those who continue in golf today."
Dye, Shute, Thompson, Wind and Wood -- plus the final inductee yet to be announced -- will be honoured at the 2008 World Golf Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 10, at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla.