The PGA Tour announced that Zach Johnson will be honored with this year’s Payne Stewart Award presented by Southern Company as an acknowledgement of his character, sportsmanship, and dedication to charitable giving.
Johnson will receive the award on September 2, at the Payne Stewart Award Ceremony in conjunction with the TOUR Championship which will be televised live on the Golf Channel.
“I never got to meet Payne, but I loved him. I loved how he played the game certainly as a competitor but then how he lived his life off the golf course – he’s the model,” said Zach Johnson. “I remember going to the TOUR Championship and the Payne Stewart Award Ceremony my rookie year and thinking, ‘This is the pinnacle of a PGA TOUR player’s career.’ It’s about how you utilize the gifts you are given, and I know Payne lived that way.”
The annual award was created to honor Payne Stewart, an 11-time tour winner, including his first at the 1982 Quad Cities Open, and World Golf Hall of Fame member, who died tragically in 1999. It is given to a professional golfer who best represents Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity, and sportsmanship. Past winners have stood out for there respect for the game, the TOUR’s tradition of charity and their ability to make a positive impact on other’s lives.
“I am deeply grateful and honored,” Johnson continued. “I don’t like being in the limelight a whole lot, but I hope in this regard I can at least be a small piece of his legacy.”
Born in Iowa City and raised in Cedar Rapids, Zach and his wife Kim established the Zach Johnson Foundation to give back to the children and families in Cedar Rapids. The flagship fundraiser for the organization is the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic which is a gala, auction and Pro-Am charity golf tournament and which also supports the Foundation’s main non-profit, Kids on Course, to help students reach a post-secondary education.
“Zach Johnson as the recipient of this year’s Payne Stewart Award is a testament to the impact Payne made on many of our contemporary players who never had a chance to meet him in person,” PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan said. “Zach would say he’s just a normal guy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, but in truth, he has one of the most compelling stories on the PGA TOUR in the last 25 years, a fearless underdog who has carved out an incredibly successful career through hard work and dedication to his craft.
“Off the course, his commitment to charity through his Foundation has made an indelible impact in Cedar Rapids and throughout Iowa where he is a state-wide hero. The PGA TOUR is thrilled to add his name to what is an illustrious list of the game’s ambassadors.”
The Zach Johnson Foundation will receive $300,000 as part of the award.