Harrington, Pepper Among 12 Finalists For Golf Hall Of Fame

Three-time major champion Padraig Harrington, double major winner Dottie Pepper and swing coach Butch Harmon were among 12 finalists announced Wednesday for the 2024 Class of the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The 31-member nominating panel whittled the list down to four men, four women and four contributors. A 20-member selection panel comprising Hall of Fame members, media and leaders of major golf organizations meet on March 8 at The Players Championship to vote on induction.

Hall of Fame induction is now every two years. The Class of 2024 will be inducted during the U.S. Open next year at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina.

Harrington was a finalist last time, the Irishman with 21 victories worldwide, most notably one stretch when he won the British Open in 2007 at Carnoustie and in 2008 at Royal Birkdale. He also became the first European in 78 years to win the PGA Championship when he won at Oakland Hills in 2008.

Players must be 45 or older at the time of the induction to be eligible. The only eligible players with three majors or more who have not been inducted are Jamie Anderson and Bob Ferguson, both three-time British Open champions from 1877 through 1882.

The other male players nominated as finalists were Jim Furyk, with 17 PGA Tour wins, a U.S. Open, a FedEx Cup title and nine consecutive Ryder Cup teams; the late Tom Weiskopf, the former British Open champion, golf course architect and television analyst; and Johnny Farrell, whose 22 tour wins included the 1928 U.S. Open. Farrell also was a finalist last time.

Pepper retired in her late 30s because of back injuries, but not before capturing 17 titles on the LPGA Tour, two of them at the Nabisco Dinah Shore. She was an early spark in the Solheim Cup, and for the last two decades has worked as one of the top analysts for NBC and CBS.

Joining her from the female division are Sandra Palmer, with 21 wins and two majors; the late Beverly Hanson, with 17 wins and three LPGA Tour majors, along with the 1950 U.S. Women’s Amateur; and Cristie Kerr, who won two majors among her 20 titles on the LPGA Tour. Hanson was a finalist last time.

Harmon is the son of former Masters champion Claude Harmon and part of one of golf’s greatest teaching families. He worked with three players who reached No. 1 in the world — Greg Norman, Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson. He reshaped Woods’ swing when he went on a tear in the early 2000s and held all four majors at the same time.

Harmon has been voted No. 1 every year since 2001 in Golf Digest’s annual list of top 50 golf instructors.

Others from the contributors category are retired Royal & Ancient chief executive Peter Dawson; former amateur great Jay Sigel, who played on nine Walker Cup teams; and the remaining seven founders of the LPGA Tour. The other six founders already have been inducted.