ATLANTA — Steve Stricker, a player respected for his attitude, determination and approach as a champion both on and off the golf course, has been named the 2012 winner of the Payne Stewart Award.
Stricker will be honored during a private reception this evening as part of the festivities at the Tour Championship, the culminating event of the FedExCup Playoffs. Stricker is in the tournament field this week, having survived the three previous Playoff events thus far that allow only the top 30 players the chance at competing for the Tour Championship trophy and, ultimately, the FedExCup title. He is ranked No. 13 in the FedExCup standings.
The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually to a player sharing Stewart’s respect for the traditions of the game, his commitment to uphold the game’s heritage of charitable support and his professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct. Stewart, an 11-time winner and World Golf Hall of Fame member, died tragically the week of the Tour Championship in 1999.
“This award means a great deal to the players on the PGA Tour, and I am truly grateful to be the recipient of the Payne Stewart Award,” said Stricker. “I take great pride in being recognized for the values that the Payne Stewart Award stands for. I was fortunate enough to spend time with and compete against Payne, and I watched how he handled himself on the course, with his fellow competitors, with the fans and volunteers. I hope that by leading by example, just as Payne did, that our younger players will follow in the traditions of sportsmanship, integrity and charitable efforts that he helped bring to our sport.”
Stricker, 45, of Madison, Wis., has won nine of his 12 Tour titles since turning 40. After early success on the Tour from 1994-2002, which included three victories and 37 top-10 finishes, Stricker suffered through a drought during the 2003-05 seasons, never finishing inside the top 125 on the money list and falling as far as 331st in the Official World Golf Ranking. See his press conference below: