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Gustafson, Faxon, Rooney honored by GWAA

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Sophie Gustafson, Brad Faxon and Patriot Golf Day founder Major Dan Rooney were honored by the Golf Writers Association of America on Wednesday.

Gustafson won the Ben Hogan Award, given to an active player who overcomes a physical handicap or serious illness to compete. 

The Swede has enjoyed a successful LPGA career with five wins and eight Solheim Cup appearances, but rarely communicates with the press because of a severe stuttering problem. At Killeen Castle in Sept., however, Gustafson volunteered to do an on-camera interview with Golf Channel, which drew praise.

Faxon received the Jim Murray Award for cooperation with the press. Considered one of the most accessible players by the media, Faxon won his first Champions Tour event this past season. 

The New England native narrowly beat out Stewart Cink in the 10th vote of the award.

Major Dan Rooney returned from his second tour in Iraq as a fighter pilot and founded the Folds of Honor Foundation, which seeks to provide scholarships to spouses and children of injured or fallen soldiers. Patriot Golf Day, the premier vehicle for raising funds through adding a dollar to green fees one day per year, has helped raise nearly $13 million for the foundation to date. 

In recognition of his efforts, he received the William D. Richardson Award, honoring individuals who have consistently made an outstanding contribution to golf.

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