2009 World Golf Hall of Fame Inductees Set

Jim Nantz, Christy O'Connor Jr. and Arnold Palmer will be in attendance to present 2009 inductees Lanny Wadkins, Christy O'Connor and the late Dwight D. Eisenhower at the World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony on November 2. Seve Ballesteros will present José María Olazábal through a videotaped message.

Nantz, who shared broadcast responsibilities with Wadkins from 2002 to 2006, will welcome his former colleague and friend. Nantz said, "I am thrilled to present my dear friend at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Lanny was a champion golfer at every stage of his distinguished career. What always impressed me the most was the way he represented the game with the utmost class and dignity. He is long deserving of this recognition and I consider it a deep honor to tell his story on November 2nd."

O'Connor will be presented by his nephew, fellow Irish golfer O'Connor, Jr., who said, "It will be an absolute privilege to recognize my uncle's scores of achievements in golf as he is inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He has been a great representative of Irish golf for so many years and it will be a magnificent night for 'Himself,' our extended family and Ireland as a whole."

Palmer, who will speak on behalf of Eisenhower, said, "I couldn't be more proud of anything than having the honor of presenting President Eisenhower at this year's induction ceremony. He was a great American whom I admired very much and was fortunate enough to have as a close friend. I think it's wonderful that he is being recognized on this level for the many contributions he made to the game. President Eisenhower received many honors in his life, but I think he would have really enjoyed this one."

Olazábal has asked his good friend and fellow Spaniard, Ballesteros, who was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1999, to introduce him. Ballesteros was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor last year and has since undergone multiple surgeries and cancer treatments. While initially hoping to be at the ceremony in person, he will be unable to attend for health reasons though will welcome his friend through a pre-recorded introduction.

Ballesteros said, "It is fantastic knowing that Jose Maria will become a member of the Hall of Fame. He deserves it for all he has done and is still doing for golf. I am very happy for him as a professional but it makes me happier for him as a person. He really deserves to be there. He means a lot to me. He is one of my best friends and I have had the honor of sharing with him many different moments in our lives. He has been by my side in the good times and in the not so very good times and I will always be there for him. Provided I am unable to be physically there [at the ceremony], believe me that my heart and thoughts will be with you all. José María, welcome to the Hall of Fame my friend."

Rich Lerner, Golf Channel commentator, will host this year's ceremony.

Jack Peter, Sr. Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Hall of Fame, said, "Each year's induction class represents stories in the game of golf that are both powerful and captivating. The guests who attend the ceremony and those who watch the international broadcast will enjoy hearing the personal stories and irreplaceable anecdotes that invariably surface during the evening. It's a special time in golf and surely for the 2009 Class."

The induction ceremony will take place on November 2 at the World Golf Hall of Fame at the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., and will air the same night on the Golf Channel (U.S.) at 9 p.m. ET.

Information about the 2009 Induction Ceremony can be found on www.wgv.com.