Tiger Woods will have to wait an extra 10 years to become an official member of the World Golf Hall of Fame.
The World Golf Hall of Fame announced Wednesday that it would be increasing the minimum age to be inducted from 40 to 50, starting with the 2017 class. Players who have not been active on their professional tours for at least five years but are not yet 50 are exempt from this change.
This change means Woods, who would have now been eligible for induction under the old rubric, will have to wait until 2026 for induction.
By contrast, 34-year-old Lorena Ochoa will be eligible because she retired from active LPGA competition in 2010.
The prior minimum drew criticism from many circles in the sport, including some of the inductees themselves. Phil Mickelson, who was inducted in the Hall of Fame at the age of 42 in 2012, said the age minimum should be increased "because the Hall of Fame is an opportunity to reflect on your career."
There's also a change to the 16-member nominating committee, with Jack Nicklaus replacing Arnold Palmer as a co-chair of the nominating committee, along with Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam and Gary Player. A subcommittee will nominate players which then must get an upvote from 12 of 16 -- or 75 percent -- of committee members.
The 2017 World Golf Hall of Fame induction will be held May 9, 2017, in St. Augustine, Fla.
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