ATLANTA – Just days after shooting 58 to break the record for the lowest single-round score in PGA Tour history, the Tour and Southern Company announced Jim Furyk – 17-time Tour winner and 2010 FedExCup champion – as the recipient of the 2016 Payne Stewart Award.
Furyk will be honored Sept. 20, at the Payne Stewart Award Ceremony in conjunction with the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually to a professional golfer who best exemplifies Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship. Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA Tour and World Golf Hall of Fame member, died tragically the week of the Tour Championship in 1999.
Furyk was chosen for the honor by a selection committee comprised mainly of past Payne Stewart Award winners and heads of leading golf organizations. Ballots were returned in May and the announcement was scheduled for August 9, coincidentally, just two days after Furyk’s historic feat at the Travelers Championship.
“I am incredibly honored to receive the Payne Stewart Award,” said Furyk. “I was fortunate enough to know Payne as a colleague and friend, and I always admired the character and spirit he brought to the game of golf. The Payne Stewart Award is an important part of the Tour’s efforts to honor Payne’s legacy. Knowing my name will be forever linked to him through this honor is extremely humbling, and I am very grateful.”
Among the highlights of Furyk’s impressive career – in addition to his 58, not to mention the 59 he shot at the 2013 BMW Championship – is his 2003 U.S. Open triumph at Olympia Fields. He has also been a consistent competitor in annual team matches, representing the United States on nine consecutive Ryder Cup teams and seven Presidents Cup teams.
But Furyk is also respected for how he handles himself outside the ropes. In 2015, Furyk received the ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award from the Golf Writers Association of America, which honors a player who is cooperative and accommodating to the media.
“Jim Furyk is a true gentleman, a player respected by everyone who has had the pleasure of interacting with him, from fans and sponsors to the media and his peers on the PGA Tour,” said Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem. “While his performance on the golf course is accomplished and well documented – most recently with his incredible round at the Travelers Championship – it’s the way he conducts himself outside the ropes that makes him more than worthy of this recognition.
“Jim, along with his wife Tabitha, has exhibited a true commitment to helping others in the community through his Foundation, and that same compassionate spirit has made him an accessible role model to upcoming Tour players for many years. On behalf of the PGA Tour, it’s my pleasure to congratulate Jim on this highest of honors.”
“Jim Furyk has been an elite PGA Tour competitor for two decades,” said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. “But his achievements on the course pale in comparison to the indelible mark he has made on the lives of countless children and families in need. Jim’s commitment to helping those less fortunate is a true testament to Payne Stewart’s legacy of serving others.”
Furyk is well-known for his less-than-orthodox swing that has produced consistent performance on Tour for 20 years and counting. He was taught the unique move as a young boy growing up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, from his father, Mike, who continues to be the only swing instructor Furyk has ever had.
Furyk spent four years on the University of Arizona men’s golf team, where he was a two-time All-American and led the Wildcats to a national title in 1992. In 1997, Furyk was inducted into the University of Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.
After spending one season on the Web.com Tour in 1993, where Furyk grabbed his first professional victory, he began his career on the PGA Tour and won his first of 17 titles at the 1996 Las Vegas Invitational. Furyk then recorded eight more victories over the course of the next eight years, not the least of which was his first major championship at the 2003 U.S. Open.
Furyk had one of his most successful seasons in 2010, winning three times, including the Tour Championship en route to becoming the fourth-ever FedExCup champion. He was named PGA Tour Player of the Year shortly thereafter.
At 46 years old, Furyk is still proving he can compete on golf’s biggest stages. With his 58 in the final round of the Travelers Championship, Furyk is now the only player in history to break 60 twice on the PGA Tour; he is one of six players to record a 59, and also the most recent, recording 59 in the second round of the 2013 BMW Championship. His final-round 58 at the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands included 10 birdies and a hole-out eagle on the par-4 third hole from 135 yards. From holes 6 through 12, he made seven consecutive birdies, a career-best for Furyk.
He captured the 2015 RBC Heritage for his 17th PGA Tour title and first in five years before a wrist injury in the fall sidelined him for nearly eight months. Furyk returned to competition in May 2016 and finished tied for second at the U.S. Open in his fifth start back on Tour