Justin Rose was named the 2021 recipient of the Payne Stewart Award, which is presented annually by the PGA Tour to the golfer who best exemplifies character, charity and sportsmanship.
Stewart, a three-time major champion, perished in a 1999 plane crash as the reigning U.S. Open champion.
"[The award has] been a huge surprise and a lovely honor and something that's definitely uplifted me," Rose said Wednesday at the Wyndham Championship. "It's the kind of award I think that clearly it's not based around your golf. The golf's been a platform for me to sort of I guess do other things and be honored and recognized in this way, but it's the type of reward that kind of makes you reflect a little bit on all the things that contributed towards that. It's been a nice feeling to have just a little bit of time to reflect on all of the reasons that maybe I've been awarded it."
Rose and his wife founded The Kate & Justin Rose Foundation, which helps "feed hungry tummies and curious minds" in Central Florida, raising more than $3 million and providing "500,000 hunger-free weekends" and 300,000 books.
"Justin Rose embodies everything the Payne Stewart Award represents," PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said. "Like Payne, he has been one of the premier players of his generation while using his platform to better the lives of those around him."
Rose, the 2013 U.S. Open winner and 2016 Olympic gold medalist, said the list of the names he's joining on that trophy - such as Jack Nicklaus, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson and Gary Player - is "overwhelming actually," but added, "It's definitely some great players and more importantly some great role models in the game."
Rose turned professional in '98, a year before Payne died, and was able to have a few brief interactions with Payne long before Rose held a trophy in his honor.
"As a young boy [Payne] actually threw me a golf ball at an Open Championship, I think way back in 1993, so that was a cool moment and made my day," Rose said. "I think at The Open Championship in '98, I was just hitting balls on the range and Payne was just one of the guys who stopped by. I just remember - I can't remember exactly what he said, but he watched me hit two or three balls and said, 'Oh, that's how it's done,' like a cool comment, just something that showed his charisma really, I suppose."