Jim Nelford, considered one of the finest ball strikers on the PGA Tour, is among three people slated for induction into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame in 2013.
A former amateur standout from Vancouver, Nelford was the first Canadian to attend Brigham Young University in Utah, where he earned two second-team All-American honours. His amateur success included back-to-back Canadian Amateur Championships in 1975 and 1976, and a runner-up finish in 1977. That same year, he was ranked the third-best amateur golfer in the world by Golf Digest.
As a pro, Nelford teamed with fellow Canadian Dan Halldorson to win the 1980 World Cup. His best finishes on the PGA Tour included runner-up honours behind Fuzzy Zoeller at the 1983 Sea Pines Heritage Classic and a playoff loss to Hale Irwin at the 1984 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am. At one point, he was credited with making 35 consecutive cuts on Tour. Despite suffering a horrific injury in a water-skiing accident in 1984, Nelford would go on to play four more years before turning to the broadcast booth where he provided insightful and entertaining analysis during tournaments for the likes of Golf Channel, CBS, ESPN, NBC, TSN and CTV.
“Golf has always been my friend and companion and always will be,” said Nelford.
“In the end, it was just a lot to handle and it just kind of wore me out but I was glad to get into broadcasting after that,” he added, noting he was amazed he still managed to make enough cuts after the accident to retire as a member of the PGA tour.
Nelford, who also co-authored "Season’s in a Golfers Life" with fellow Hall of Fame member and noted golf writer Lorne Rubenstein, will be formally inducted into the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame during the RBC Canadian Open Championship at Glen Abbey Golf Club in late July.
Also entering the Hall of Fame in the player's category is Alison Murdoch following a prominent amateur career on both the national and international stage. The 1967 Quebec Junior Girls champion is a four time winner of the Canadian Senior Championship and most recently captured back-to-back Super Senior titles. Murdoch has also won the Pacific Northwest Golf Association (PNGA) Senior and Mid Amateur as well as both British Columbia and Alberta’s senior titles. Internationally she counts the British and Irish Senior titles on her golf resume. Murdoch's success at the senior level has earned her numerous accolades including the ScoreGolf Female Senior Amateur of the Year on four occasions; the PNGA Senior Women’s Player of the year on five occasions; and the SportBC Female Master Athlete of the Year in 2007. In 2009, the Victoria, B.C., native was inducted into the British Columbia Golf Hall of Fame.
“I had not expected at all that my senior career would be recognized this way,” said Murdoch, whose induction will take place at the Victoria Golf Club in August.
John (Jack) McLaughlin enters the Hall posthumously in the builder category. McLaughlin began his career in 1953 at Scarboro Golf & Country Club and also served as head pro at Cedar Brae Golf & Country Club and Bayview Golf & Country Club before relocating to Vancouver’s Shaughnessy Golf & Country Club in 1974. McLaughlin also served as president of both the Ontario and British Columbia PGA boards, as well as director of the PGA of Canada. Dedicated to junior golf and teaching, he coached many of Canada’s top players including Lorie Kane, Ray Stewart and Brent Franklin. McLaughlin is also remembered for his commitment to the game, developing junior programs, serving as the National Junior Committee Chair for the PGA of Canada and as the head coach of the UBC Thunderbirds.
“I know how much this would have meant to my father if he were still with us,” said his son Jim. “I don’t know that there was a province that he didn’t touch in terms of his legacy and his influence.”
"The Canadian Golf Hall of Fame is dedicated to the recognition of extraordinary contributions and accomplishments by individuals in the game of golf in Canada," said Ian Clarke, Chair of the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame. "Jack McLaughlin, Alison Murdoch and James Nelford have each in their own way contributed, excelled and created their own golf related legacies and are excellent examples of the individuals who are part of the great game of golf. Each of our 2013 inductees has, through excellence, made a lasting and tremendous contribution to the sport. It is only fitting that they join the 70 honoured members whose accomplishments are recognized in the Canadian Golf Hall of Fame."