ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. - Paying tribute to pioneers, teachers and parents, Juli Inkster and former PGA Tour commissioner Deane Beman were among eight players and administrators inducted Monday night into the World Golf Hall of Fame.
Inkster, who juggled being a soccer mom and one of the most competitive players in golf, and Beth Daniel were the only active players among this year's induction class, the largest since eight were inducted in 1975.
Daniel qualified in 1999 but postponed her induction to the year her parents and the LPGA Tour celebrated their 50th anniversaries. Monday also happened to be her brother's 50th birthday.
Joining the inductees was Judy Rankin, a 26-time winner and longtime ABC Sports golf analyst who was voted in through the Veteran's Category.
The World Golf Foundation selected five others - former Masters and PGA champion Jack Burke Jr. through the Veteran's Category, Beman, Sir Michael Bonallack, British teaching pro John Jacobs and Neil Coles for Lifetime Achievement.
Their induction brings membership in the Hall of Fame to 84.
"They have gotten to the Hall of Fame through very different paths," PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said on a cold, clear night at the World Golf Village. "Each has left their indelible marks."
The LPGA Tour celebrated its 50th anniversary of when 13 founders ran a circuit that has blossomed into 40 tournaments with prize money pushing $40 million.
"Because of these women, I have been able to live my dream," Daniel said.
Daniel and Inkster qualified when the LPGA Tour early last year changed its requirements from the most stringent of any Hall of Fame to one based on points.
"It's unbelievable that my name will go alongside some of the greatest men and women to ever play the game of golf," said Daniel, a Furman graduate who has won 32 times and one major.
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