CELEBRATING THE GAME
Two-Time U.S. Open Champ Goosen Tops Hall of Fame Class October 9, 2018 | St. Augustine, Fla.

Retief Goosen, who won a pair of U.S. Open titles in 2001 and 2004, will be enshrined in the World Golf Hall of Fame in June. (USGA Archives)

Two-time U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen is set to be immortalized in the World Golf Hall of Fame. The South African, who is affectionately called “The Goose,” will be enshrined on June 10 at a ceremony during U.S. Open week at Pebble Beach.

Joining Goosen in this year’s Hall-of-Fame class are 1983 U.S. Women’s Open champion Jan Stephenson, USGA Bob Jones Award winners Dennis Walters (2018) and the late Peggy Kirk Bell (1990), and former Augusta National Golf Club chairman Billy Payne.

“The 2019 Induction class is one of the most well-rounded groups we’ve had to date,” said Jack Peter, president of the World Golf Hall of Fame. “It is our honor and privilege to welcome Peggy Kirk Bell, Retief Goosen, Billy Payne, Jan Stephenson and Dennis Walters to the World Golf Hall of Fame family. We are excited to begin working with them as we gear up for the induction ceremony in Pebble Beach this June.”

The five inductees will bring the total number of World Golf Hall of Fame members to 160.

Goosen, who turns 50 on Feb. 3, claimed his first U.S. Open title in 2001 at Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., defeating Mark Brooks in an 18-hole playoff. Three years later, he one-putted 12 greens in the final round to outduel Phil Mickelson by two strokes at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y.

One of the more consistent competitors of his era, Goosen sat within the top 10 in the Official Golf Ranking for 250 weeks from 2001-2007. He owns 33 worldwide victories and he was named PGA European Tour Player of the Year in 2001. He also led the European Tour’s Order of Merit in 2001 and 2002 and represented the international team in six consecutive Presidents Cups from 2000-2011.

Stephenson’s U.S. Women’s Open victory at Cedar Ridge Country Club in Tulsa, Okla., started a boom in international champions. Since the Australian became just the third foreign-born winner of the U.S. Women’s Open, the championship saw international players claim 18 of the next 35 titles.

Stephenson, who amassed 20 worldwide victories, including 16 on the LPGA Tour, finished her career with three major titles. In addition to the 1983 U.S. Women’s Open, she also won the 1981 du Maurier and 1982 LPGA Championship. Stephenson also played a role as one of the founders of the Women’s Senior Golf Tour and has dabbled in golf course design. Stephenson competed in the Inaugural U.S. Senior Women’s Open in July at Chicago Golf Club.

Walters, a former elite golfer who was paralyzed from the waist down due to a golf cart accident when he was 24, has dedicated his career to sharing life lessons and inspiring fans and disabled golfers of all ages through his clinics and special performances. Some of Walters’ 3,000-plus performances have come at USGA championships. The Jupiter, Fla., resident also is a former spokesperson and national ambassador for The First Tee.

This past year, the USGA bestowed its highest honor, the Bob Jones Award, upon Walters. The annual award is given to a person who demonstrates the spirit, character and respect for the game exhibited by Jones. Before his accident, Walters, in 1967 at the age of 17, claimed the New Jersey Junior Championship, Caddie Championship and Public Links Junior Championship titles. He also tied for 11th in the 1971 U.S. Amateur at Wilmington (Del.) Country Club when the championship was conducted at 72 holes of stroke play.

Bell was an amateur standout in the late 1940s and early 1950s, helping the USA to victory in the 1950 Curtis Cup Match at the Country Club of Buffalo (N.Y.). Later that year, she became a charter member of the fledgling LPGA Tour. Following her playing career, Bell became one of the game’s top instructors, and along with husband Warren “Bullet” Bell purchased Pine Needles Resort & Lodge in Southern Pines, N.C., site of three U.S. Women’s Open Championships (1996, 2001 and 2007) and the 2019 U.S. Senior Women’s Open. In 2002, she became the first female inducted into the World Golf Teachers Hall of Fame.