St. Augustine, FL -- Four-time major champion Phil Mickelson headlined a group of five people inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday.
Mickelson was joined in the 2012 class by 1985 British Open and 1988 Masters champion Sandy Lyle; former player-turned broadcaster Peter Alliss; Hollis Stacy, a four-time major winner on the LPGA Tour; and legendary writer Dan Jenkins.
When the vote took place late last year, the Mickelson earned 72 percent of the ballot, the highest percentage for any player since Greg Norman got 80 percent of the vote in 2001.
Mickelson said in his speech, "I would just like to say that since I was a kid and first picked up my golf club, I've been living my dream, and I want to thank you for this great honor tonight."
Prior to his first Masters title, Mickelson was 0-for-46 in the four major championships. That span was full of near-misses and wild shots.
"I want to thank the fans because the fans have made this such a fun ride. There have been a lot of highs and a lot of lows that we've shared together. There have been a lot of times where I've struggled, and it's been their energy that's helped pull me through. I've tried to reciprocate by launching drive after drive in their general direction," Mickelson joked during his induction speech.
Mickelson's brilliant career has been highlighted by Masters titles in 2004, 2006 and 2010, and a PGA Championship in 2005. The 41-year-old has 36 other PGA Tour wins, including the 2007 Players Championship, the 2009 WGC-CA Championship and two Tour Championships.
Lyle, 54, was voted in through the International ballot. Along with his two major championships, Lyle also collected four other PGA Tour victories, including the 1987 Players Championship, and 16 European Tour crowns.
Fellow Hall-of-Famer Seve Ballesteros once said of Lyle: "The greatest God- given talent in history. If everyone in the world was playing their best, Sandy would win and I'd come second."
Lyle became the first living Scot to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Alliss, who was voted in via the Lifetime Achievement Category, won 23 times worldwide in a career that ended before the European Tour was officially created. He started working with the BBC as a commentator during his playing days in 1961. Alliss kept playing until 1974 and played on eight Ryder Cup teams, including seven in a row from 1957-69.
The 81-year-old never played the U.S. Open and PGA Championship, and missed the cut in his two Masters appearances. He did finish eighth three times at the British Open.
Alliss, known mostly in the United States for his British Open commentary on ABC, has penned more than 20 books and co-designed over 50 golf course, including The Belfry, which has hosted four Ryder Cups.
Stacy, who was voted in through the Veterans Category, started her stellar career with three straight wins at the U.S. Girls Junior (1969-71). Among her 18 LPGA Tour victories were three titles at the U.S. Women's Open, where she was the fourth women to win the championship in back-to-back years.
Twice in her career, Stacy took down fellow Hall-of-Famer Amy Alcott. Stacy needed an extra hole to beat Alcott at the '71 Girls Junior, then bested her and Rosie Jones at the '84 U.S. Women's Open.
Jenkins, who was also elected through the Lifetime Achievement Category, covered his first major championship at the 1951 U.S. Open. The Fort Worth native began covering golf as fellow Fort Worth natives and Hall-of-Famers Ben Hogan and Byron Nelson were becoming dominant golfers.
Through much of the legendary careers of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, Jenkins wrote for Sports Illustrated. He moved to Golf Digest in 1985 and has remained there to this day.
This year's Masters was the 211th major championship the 82-year-old Jenkins has covered. He is also the father of decorated writer Sally Jenkins.
The Sports Network