Dye named as first member of 2008 Hall of Fame class

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. -- Pete Dye, the golf course architect who built his reputation on risk-reward shots at courses like TPC Sawgrass and the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, was selected Tuesday for the World Golf Hall of Fame.

Dye was selected in the Lifetime Achievement Category and will be inducted Nov. 10.

He will be the fourth person in the Hall of Fame whose primary occupation was a golf course architect, joining Donald Ross, Alister Mackenzie and Robert Trent Jones Sr.

"This is really a surprise," Dye said. "With all the great people that are in the Hall of Fame, it's an honor to be part of them because they've all given back to the game of golf, and I'm certainly proud to be here as one of them."

The World Golf Hall of Fame will announce other inductees at the U.S. Open and British Open.

Jack Peter, the chief operating officer, said no one received the minimum 50 percent of the vote from the International ballot, with candidates that included Jumbo Ozaki, Sandy Lyle, Jose Maria Olazabal and Colin Montgomerie.

PGA Tour ballot results will be announced at the U.S. Open. A selection from the Veteran's Category is likely to be announced at the British Open.

Dye is regarded as one of the most influential architects of the modern era, with many of his courses defined by bulkheads and railroad ties framing severe water hazards. He has designed more than 120 courses, several of which have hosted major championships, a Ryder Cup and PGA and LPGA tour events.

It was only fitting that the announcement come during The Players Championship, site of Dye's most infamous course.

He built the Stadium Course on swamp land, first sketching it on a cocktail napkin. The 17th green was supposed to be a par 3 that bordered on water, but they found pure sand next to the hole that was valuable in capping the fairways. Dye's wife, Alice, suggested he make an island out of the 17th green, and Dye agreed.

It now is the centerpiece on the Stadium Course, one of the most notorious par 3s in golf.

Other courses Dye designed were Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, Harbour Town Golf Links in Hilton Head, S.C.; and Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., where John Daly won the PGA Championship.

"He came along at a time when he really changed the nature of golf course architecture, and I think that's good," USGA executive director David Fay said.