Golf Hall of Fame lowers age eligibility requirements for induction

SAN DIEGO -- Tiger Woods is a good bet to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2021.

That's because officials announced Tuesday that the Hall of Fame is lowering its age to be eligible for induction to 45 or three years retired. Woods will turn 45 in December and a player is eligible if he or she is the minimum age by the year of the ceremony.

The minimum for induction is 15 wins combined on the major tours. Given that Woods has 15 majors among 82 total wins, he will be a lock to be inducted.

"We believe these changes will enhance the Hall of Fame in many ways and bring greater attention to the most deserving players at a time in their careers when they are still competing at the highest level," said Greg McLaughlin, the World Golf Foundation CEO. "We look forward to the future of the Hall of Fame as we ensure it remains a meaningful way to recognize the game's greats."

The Hall has undergone several changes over the years, including induction age. For a time it was age 40, which is why players such as Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els were inducted long ago. It was then changed to 50 and now back to 45.

Besides Woods, other players who will now be eligible in 2021 include Jim Furyk, Padraig Harrington, Lee Westwood and Henrik Stenson. Women who will be eligible are Dottie Pepper, Jane Geddes, Sophie Gustafson and Liselotte Neumann.

Bubba Watson, Sergio Garcia, Adam Scott and Justin Rose would be eligible in 2023.

To be eligible, a player must also have a minimum of 15 official victories (on any of the world tours) or a minimum of two wins among the major championships and the Players Championship.

Woods, who is playing his first tournament of 2020 this week at Torrey Pines, would nearly be eligible just on his California tour wins alone. He has 14 PGA Tour wins in the state, including eight at Torrey Pines. He will be trying to set the PGA Tour career record of 83 wins this week.