Esposito, Langford, Mann, Peabody, Radix and Ziehm Comprise the 2019 Class
GLENVIEW, Ill. — The Illinois Golf Hall of Fame tonight elected six nominees to its Class of 2019 including Emil Esposito, an Illinois PGA Professional and ambassador of the game for more than 50 years; Carol Mann, a 38-time winner on the LPGA Tour and former LPGA president; and Len Ziehm, current golf columnist for The Daily Herald and writer for other leading golf and sports publications following a 41-year career with the Chicago Sun-Times.
"We have the largest class since 1997, and one of the strongest Hall of Fame classes of all, with representatives from many aspects of the game," said Selection Committee chair Tim Cronin. "And, it’s good to see the committee vote in some of the game’s leaders from the early years in Illinois golf."
The following nominees were elected for induction:
- Emil Esposito – PGA Professional, parlayed a fine amateur record into a 50-year-plus career as a golf professional. He won the Illinois Open twice (1966 & 1974) and collected a memorable title in the 1979 Illinois PGA Championship, the first to be held at Kemper Lakes, that led to a three-decade career with the KemperSports organization.
- William Langford – a leading golf architect long after his playing days, the Chicago native was co-creator with partner Theodore Moreau of several distinguished courses, including Lawsonia Links in Wisconsin, Wakonda in Iowa, Butterfield CC in the Chicago area and Kankakee Elks downstate. He was a founding member and twice president of the American Society of Golf Course Architects, and a leader in public golf and course ratings.
- Carol Mann – educated in golf at Olympia Fields Country Club, Mann became one of the foremost players of her time. After turning pro before 20, she would go on to win 38 LPGA Tour tournaments, including a pair of majors, the 1964 Women's Western Open and the 1965 U.S. Women's Open. Behind the scenes, Mann was president of the LPGA when it hired its first commissioner and was the first woman to be a regular TV commentator, notably at NBC.
- Francis Peabody – a philanthropist who built his fortune in coal and found his escape in golf, Peabody convinced the leaders at Chicago's private clubs to unite to organize tournaments and for the welfare of caddies, prompting the formation of the Chicago District Golf Association in the fall of 1914.
- Harry Radix – was more than just golf's No. 1 fan. He created the pro tour original ranking system in 1934 and donated the trophy for the circuit's player of the year. Eventually supplanted by the Vardon Trophy, Radix remained close to the game, and the Radix Cup Match was created to honor him. One of the few to get close to Ben Hogan, Radix was a supporter of golf locally and nationally.
- Len Ziehm – has reported on the exploits of others in golf since 1968, spending the bulk of his career at the Chicago Sun-Times. He became known for the depth of his local coverage, as well as weekly reviews of public courses in era when newspapers had space for them, and continues to report for the Daily Herald, Illinois Golfer, Chicagoland Golf and his own website.
The Selection Committee met at The Glen Club, home of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame, to review the finalists for consideration and hear presentations from the nominators.
The Illinois Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Induction Ceremony will be held Friday, October 18, 2019 at The Glen Club in Glenview, Ill., home of the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame.
About the Illinois PGA/Illinois PGA Foundation
The Illinois Section of the PGA of America is a professional organization serving the men and women golf professionals in northern and central Illinois who are the recognized experts in growing, teaching and managing the game of golf. The Illinois PGA is responsible for the administration of competitive golf tournaments, educational opportunities, support programs and growth of the game initiatives. With over 840 members and apprentices, the Illinois PGA is one of the 41 regional Sections that comprise the PGA of America. The Illinois PGA Foundation focuses its community efforts on promoting the goodwill and growth of the game with an emphasis on activities that benefit youth. Foundation initiatives include: GolfWorks Illinois, Youth-based Scholarship Funds and the Illinois Golf Hall of Fame. For more information about the Illinois PGA and the Illinois PGA Foundation, please visit www.www.ipga.com and join us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
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