Tiger, other golfers will benefit from hall of fame changes

Age criteria drops to 45, making golfers like Woods, Furyk eligible

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Tiger Woods could be coming to the World Golf Hall of Fame very soon.

On Tuesday, golf’s hall announced that it was changing its age for eligibility to 45, or three years retired from the sport.

Woods turns 45 on Dec. 30, 2020 and would be eligible for the Class of 2021.

There’s not any suspense on whether Woods, who has 15 career major championship wins, enters the hall. He’s a lock. But the time he would have had to wait was dropped from 50 years old to 45. The age limit changed from 40 to 50 in 2016, odd timing since Woods turned 40 that year.

The path is now cleared for enshrinement next year in St. Augustine.

Woods is not the only golfer who will get a boost due to the age change. Area resident Jim Furyk, 49, and 2009 Players Championship winner Henrik Stenson, 43, are among those with new eligibility.

Past Players Championship winners Sergio Garcia and Adam Scott are now eligible for the 2025 class, provided the criteria doesn’t change again before then.

“Recognizing the game’s greatest players and contributors is an important endeavor and one our sport takes very seriously,” World Golf Foundation Board Chairman and PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “We are committed to regularly evaluating the selection process to ensure we approach it with both historical context and the future in mind. I believe these changes benefit the Hall of Fame Members, fans across the world and the institution.”

Other changes to the hall included doing away with the Veterans category and adding a Contributor category to replace the Lifetime Achievement. The nomination and selection committees have expanded to 18 members of the media.

“We believe these changes will enhance the Hall of Fame in many ways and bring greater attention to the most deserving players at a time in their careers when they are still competing at the highest level,” Greg McLaughlin, CEO of World Golf Foundation, said in a statement. “We look forward to the future of the Hall of Fame as we ensure it remains a meaningful way to recognize the game’s greats.”

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.