The award honors Payne Stewart, the World Golf Hall of Fame member and 11-time PGA TOUR winner who died the week of THE TOUR Championship in 1999. It was created by the PGA TOUR Policy Board to perpetuate his memory by annually honoring a player who reflects Stewarts respect for the traditions of the game, his commitment to uphold the games heritage of charitable support and his professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct.
Love grew up around the game and honed his skills as an All-American at the University of North Carolina. His amateur career culminated with a selection to the 1985 Walker Cup team. Loves PGA TOUR career began in 1986 when he posted two top-10 finishes and finished 77th on the money list, and he has never looked back, racking up 19 career victories, including multiple wins at events like THE PLAYERS Championship, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the Verizon Heritage. He won his first major at the 1997 PGA Championship and ranks fifth all-time with nearly $36 million in career earnings.
Beyond his accomplishments on the course, however, remains Loves commitment to use his profile to benefit others. To that end, The Davis Love Foundation was established in 2005 to support both national- and community-based programs that focus on children and their families. The ambitious mission of The Davis Love Foundation is to help build a better future for vulnerable children and their families who are at risk of poor educational, economic, social and health outcomes. The foundation provides grants and donations to community based programs that focus on children and families in need.
Davis epitomizes everything that the Payne Stewart Award stands for in his integrity, sportsmanship and spirit of giving back, said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. He truly understands what it means to be a role model and has been a great ambassador for the PGA TOUR and the sport of golf, both on and off the field of competition. He is a worthy addition to the list of distinguished gentlemen who have been honored with the Payne Stewart Award.
Love becomes the 11th recipient of the award. The inaugural Payne Stewart Award was presented in 2000 to Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer. Ben Crenshaw was the 2001 recipient, followed by Nick Price (2002), Tom Watson (2003), Jay Haas (2004), Brad Faxon (2005) Gary Player (2006) and Hal Sutton (2007).