USA TODAY and PGA TOUR Reports Tom Watson Honor by GWAA
Anterior Hip Replacement Patient Tom Watson Keeps His Professional Golfing Edge.
Jan. 5, 2010
Watson, who underwent total hip replacement surgery in 2008 and just eight months later nearly became the oldest player to win a major championship at 59, and Green, who lost the lower part of his right leg in a horrific accident that claimed the lives of his brother and girlfriend, share the Ben Hogan Award.
It is the first time in GWAA history there has been a tie for the award, given for remaining active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness. The only other time an award voted on by the GWAA ended in a tie was the 1976 Male Player of the Year, shared by Jack Nicklaus and Jerry Pate.
Harrington, a three-time major champ, was honored with the ASAPSports/Jim Murray Award, which recognizes a golfer for cooperation, quotability and accommodation with the media, while Dye, who has designed some of the world's most challenging courses, was honored with the William D. Richardson Award, given annually to recognize individuals who have consistently made an outstanding contribution to golf.
Watson, who was honored with the GWAA's Charlie Bartlett Award in 2004, lost a playoff to Stewart Cink at last year's Open Championship at Turnberry, Scotland. The 60-year-old has won five Open Championships. Green, 51, is in rehabilitation and is determined to return to the Champions Tour.
Harrington, the 2008 GWAA Male Player of the Year, once explained to friends that players owed it to to the game to be cooperative with media "because they have the toughest job." He beat out Steve Stricker and 2009 Open champ Stewart Cink for the honor.
The influence of Dye's designs has put an imprint on the way courses are build and the way the game is played. One of his most famous designs is the TPC at Sawgrass, home of The PLAYERS. Among his other designs are Whistling Straits, Black Wolf Run and PGA West. Dye, a past recipient of the PGA Tour's Lifetime Achievement Award, edged Hall of Famer Jackie Burke for the honor.
Past recipients of the Richardson Award, named for The New York Times' William D. Richardson who was instrumental in the founding of the GWAA in 1946, include the Harmon Family, Furman Bisher, Louise Suggs, Judy Rankin, Nancy Lopez, Sandy Tatum, Dan Jenkins, Judy Bell, Babe Zaharias, Jack Nicklaus, Ely Callaway, Ben Hogan, Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, Patty Berg, Gene Sarazen, Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Harvey Penick, Peggy Kirk Bell, Frank Hannigan, Kathy Whitworth and Lee Trevino.
Former Hogan award winners include Rankin, Erik Compton, Denis Watson, Hubert Green, Bruce Edwards, Jeff Julian, Scott Verplank, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Casey Martin, Paul Azinger, Robert Allenby, Lee Trevino, John Mahaffey, Jim Nelford, Ken Venturi, Terri-Jo Meyers and Steve Jones.
The 950-member GWAA takes an active role in protecting the interests of all golf journalists, works closely with all of golf's major governing bodies and the World Golf Hall of Fame and facilitates a scholarship/internship program.