Zach Johnson Wins Prestigious Payne Stewart Award [WATCH]
A brief break from our derecho nightmare for a feel-good story.
The Payne Stewart Award is given by the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) to the chosen golfer who exemplifies "steadfast values of character, charity, and sportsmanship". Who better to earn the award this year than Cedar Rapids native Zach Johnson?
The Golf Channel says the award was initiated in 2000 after three-time major champion Payne Stewart died in a plane crash on the way to a PGA Championship event. An emotional Zoom video posted by the PGA Tour on Twitter shows a surprised Johnson learning of his award. On the conference call was the late Stewart's widow Chelsea.
A priceless reaction for a well-deserved accolade. He went on to say: "I started crying. My wife recorded it. She knew it was a big deal. She knew how big of a deal it is to me. I love what the award represents. I love the fact the PGA Tour is honoring Payne and his legacy"
He also noted he appreciated it for the attention it could bring to his foundation, his sponsors, financial backers, his family and of course, his hometown.
His rise to success started in his hometown Cedar Rapids, where he attended Regis High School and then went on to attend Drake University in Des Moines. He turned pro in 1998 according to Wikipedia, and his first major win out of 12 so far as a professional was the one everyone knows well--the 2007 PGA Tour.
He had the chance in his rookie year to attend the ceremony for that year's winner of the Payne Stewart Award and years later the self-described "normal guy from Cedar Rapids, Iowa" will now be the one honored, on September 2 in Atlanta.
Congrats to Zach!