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Monday, May 16, 2016

The Limerick Summary: 2016 THE PLAYERS

Winner: Jason Day

Around the wider world of golf: Jeunghun Wang won the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open -- his second win in a row -- on the ET/Asian Tour; Trey Mullinax won the Rex Hospital Open on the Tour; Tim O’Neal won the Casa de Campo Dominican Republic Open on the PGA TOUR Latinoamérica (way to go, Tim!); Zecheng Dou won the Henan Open on the PGA TOUR China; Shanshan Feng successfully defended her Buick Championship title on the LET; and Erica Popson won the Symetra Classic on the Symetra Tour.

Jason Day with PLAYERS trophy

I know you've already heard about all the records Jason Day set with his win at THE PLAYERS, and you've heard all the comparisons with Tiger, and so on. So I thought I'd take a slightly different tack today and focus on something Jason said to the media this past week -- namely, that a win at THE PLAYERS could ultimately determine whether he got into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

And in the process, I think I can clear up some of the debate over whether THE PLAYERS should be called a major or not.

What Jason has done over the last ten months is something we haven't seen since Tiger was in full flight, having won 7 of his last 17 starts. (Granted, he's got a long way to go to catch Tiger, but that's a pretty good start!) He has ten PGA Tour wins, which include a PGA Championship, a PLAYERS and two WGCs, among other prestigious titles.

Now here are some of the criteria for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame, as posted at their site (I didn't include the age criteria and such):
A player must have a cumulative total of 15 or more official victories on any of the original members of the International Federation of PGA Tours (PGA TOUR, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Sunshine Tour, Asian Tour and PGA of Australasia) OR at least two victories among the following events: The Masters, THE PLAYERS Championship, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship.
Once Jason reaches the ripe old age of 50, this says he can be inducted if he has 15 or more valid victories OR -- and that OR is important -- two major wins. (As a side note, that means John Daly meets the tournament criteria if the committee chooses to induct him.) Oh, wait... those two major wins can include THE PLAYERS! So, since he already has a PGA Championship and a PLAYERS, Jason Day has already met the tournament criteria for induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame!

Is THE PLAYERS called a major? No, not yet... but "called" is the operative word here. Because the criteria on their website makes it clear that the World Golf Hall of Fame already thinks THE PLAYERS is equivalent to a major. And because of that, I think it's just a matter of time before THE PLAYERS officially becomes the fifth major.

That probably won't happen until the PGA Championship becomes an international major and starts moving around the planet to different continents, which is something the PGA of America is already talking about, but I suspect both will happen eventually. It will be part of the recognition process once golf has truly become global. It's just going to take time for the powers-that-be to adjust to the changes that will ultimately come, especially if Olympic golf is as successful as they all hope.

Jason can rest easy, knowing that his induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame is probably a lock -- especially if he keeps winning over 40% of his starts.

But in the meantime he can sit back, relax, hold Dash and Lucy in his arms, and stare at his lovely new crystal trophy while Ellie reads his latest Limerick Summary to him:
Next Tuesday they’ll tear out the greens
But this week, Day tore out the dreams
Of the rest of the field.
His unshakeable will
Has him Hall of Fame-bound now, it seems.
The photo came from this page at the CBC/Radio-Canada site.

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