Montgomerie was added to the Hall of Fame in May this year, despite having never won a major championship, any strokeplay tournament in the USA, or reached No.1 on the world rankings. The Scot took his place on the international ballot, one of five current routes into the Hall.
That provoked outrage in certain quarters. Raymond Floyd said: “I’ll just say that you should have at least two majors. It takes integrity away from the term ‘Golf Hall of Fame.’ I’m very upset.” Tony Jacklin added: “I vote on the basis of who’s worthy and there’s always majors in it for me.”
Even Montgomerie’s fellow Scot Sandy Lyle – an inductee in 2012 – spoke out against the eight-time European Tour No.1’s induction, arguing: “I thought a major should be behind your name to be even considered. Quite a lot of players have won majors and not even been considered.”
The fact that Montgomerie’s inclusion earned him a lifetime exemption for the lucrative Champions Tour – for which he became eligible in June this year – only succeeded in exacerbating many people’s discontent
It appears, though, that the Golf Hall of Fame’s custodians have taken notice, announcing that there will be no induction ceremony in 2014 whilst a ‘comprehensive review’ of the eligibility criteria is undertaken.
“In fairness to that process, the board of directors and the Hall of Fame have agreed to forego the 2014 induction ceremony.”
A statement issued by the Golf Hall of Fame said: “Following the conclusion of the 2013 World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony, the World Golf Foundation board of directors instructed the Hall of Fame to begin a comprehensive review of several of its processes.
“The review has focused on an evaluation of the criteria and process for electing/selecting all five avenues of induction and a review of the production of the annual induction ceremony, including date, location and presentation.
“At this time, the strategic review is ongoing. The process of electing and selecting inductees and planning the induction ceremony takes several months and includes the coordination of the game’s professional tours, governing bodies and allied organisations.
“Therefore, in fairness to that process, the board of directors and the Hall of Fame have agreed to forego the 2014 induction ceremony.
“The review is expected to be complete in early 2014 and an announcement will be made after the Golf Hall of Fame Board of Directors approves any changes to be made.”
The 2015 Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony will still take place as planned on the Monday of The Players Championship, on May 4, 2015.