In addition to the season finale and a ten million dollar payoff the PGA Tour uses The Tour Championship to present The Payne Stewart Award. The award is given to a “player who shows respect for the traditions of the game, a commitment to uphold the game’s heritage of charitable support and a professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct.” This year’s choice is Kenny Perry and he is very deserving of the consideration. Perry was overwhelmed by the honor, “There is no greater honor for a professional golfer than to receive the Payne Stewart Award,” said Perry. “Payne personified all the virtues the game of golf can teach us; so being recognized as a person who is worthy of an award created in his memory is incredibly humbling. This award is and will always be one of my greatest accomplishments.”
We all remember Stewart’s fist pump on the eighteenth at Pinehurst when he won The US Open and claimed his third major. He then hugged Phil Mickelson who was waiting for the birth of his first child. Stewart told Phil that there will be more Opens, but you’re going to be a father and there is nothing as special as that.
When Payne Stewart died he left his wife Tracey and two young children. His daughter Chelsea and her brother Aaron have grown up and started to live their adult lives. Chelsea works for the Tour Championship in Atlanta and Aaron is playing golf at his dad’s school. It seems fitting that his children would have a connection to the game he loved. Check out the videos and see how Payne’s little ones have grown up.