Padraig Harrington and Sandra Palmer Lead Class of '24 Inducted into World Golf Hall of Fame

PINEHURST, N.C. – Irish golfer Padraig Harrington, known for his three major championships, and LPGA star Sandra Palmer, with 19 LPGA victories, headlined the Class of 2024 induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame. The ceremony marked the first since the Hall of Fame moved from St. Augustine, Florida, to Pinehurst, North Carolina.

Padraig Harrington’s Journey

Harrington, who grew up in Ireland, always dreamed of winning major trophies. His career includes victories at The Open Championship in 2007 and 2008 and the PGA Championship in 2008. Reflecting on his induction, Harrington mentioned the honor of being recognized among legends like Bernhard Langer, Vijay Singh, and Ernie Els, especially on the PGA TOUR Champions.

You kind of look at these guys and you want to be one of them. You want to be part of it,” Harrington said, expressing his admiration for his peers and excitement to join their ranks.

The Induction Ceremony

The induction took place at the USGA’s new second home in Pinehurst, on the second floor of the USGA Experience building. Harrington, 52, joined LPGA star Sandra Palmer as the only living inductees this year. Palmer, a two-time major champion, won her first LPGA event in 1971 and captured her first major at the 1975 U.S. Open.

Other inductees included:

  • Beverly Hanson: Renowned LPGA golfer with 17 wins, including three majors.
  • Tom Weiskopf: 16-time PGA TOUR winner and noted golf course architect.
  • Johnny Farrell: Famous for his 1928 U.S. Open victory over Bobby Jones.
  • The remaining seven founders of the LPGA: Alice Bauer, Bettye Danoff, Helen Dettweiler, Helen Hicks, Opal Hill, Sally Sessions, and Shirley Spork, who were inducted as a group.

Harrington’s Career Highlights

Harrington’s career boasts 21 worldwide wins, including significant triumphs at Carnoustie in 2007 and Royal Birkdale in 2008. He became the first European winner of the PGA Championship in 78 years in 2008. Additionally, Harrington played on six Ryder Cup teams and captained the 2021 team at Whistling Straits.

His success extends to the PGA TOUR Champions, where he has seven wins, including the U.S. Senior Open two years ago. Reflecting on his induction, Harrington expressed deep satisfaction and validation, acknowledging the emotions tied to such a significant career milestone.

When you’re in your career and you win tournaments and you receive awards and accolades, you always assume they’re going to be there and you’re going to keep winning,” Harrington said. “So by getting into the Hall of Fame it brings a lot of emotions. Validation, no doubt about it. Satisfaction, no doubt about it. It’s a deep-set satisfaction that I’ve done it and I’ve done well.

Sandra Palmer’s Achievements

Palmer’s induction honors her 19 LPGA victories, including two major championships. Known for her resilience, Palmer won her first LPGA event after seven years on the tour and went on to secure her place as a dominant player.

Posthumous Inductees

  • Tom Weiskopf: Celebrated for his playing career and contributions to golf architecture, Weiskopf designed numerous notable courses and was known for his candid commentary on television.
  • Johnny Farrell: A 22-time winner famous for his 1928 U.S. Open victory in a playoff against Bobby Jones.
  • Beverly Hanson: Noted for her 17 LPGA wins and victories over prominent golfers like Babe Zaharias and Louise Suggs.

Legacy of the LPGA Founders

The induction of the remaining founders of the LPGA highlights their pioneering contributions to women’s golf. This group joins the previously inducted founders, completing the recognition of the trailblazers who established the LPGA.

The Class of 2024’s induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame celebrates not only the individual achievements of these golfers but also their lasting impact on the sport.