GWAA Honors Patriot Golf Day's Rooney

He will receive William D. Richardson Award

By GWAA
January 4, 2012

Houston – Patriot Golf Day founder Major Dan Rooney, Sweden’s Sophie Gustafson and Brad Faxon have been honored with three prestigious awards given by the Golf Writers Association of America.

Rooney, who flew three combat tours in Iraq, was honored with the William D. Richardson Award, given annually to recognize individuals who have consistently made an outstanding contribution to golf. Gustafson, who battles a severe stuttering problem, won the Ben Hogan Award for remaining active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness. Faxon, a 28-year veteran on the PGA/Champions Tour, was honored with the ASAPSports/Jim Murray Award, which recognizes a golfer for cooperation, quotability and accommodation  with the media.

They will be honored, along with GWAA Players of the Year  Luke Donald,  Yani Tseng and Tom Lehman at the Annual GWAA Awards Dinner, April 4 in  Augusta, Ga.

After Rooney, a former F-16 pilot, returned from his second tour in Iraq, he founded Patriot Golf Day and the Folds of Honor Foundation, which provides scholarships to spouses and children of military members disabled or killed in service. Patriot Golf Day has raised more than $12.8 million in its first five years and has given more than 2,600 scholarships. In 2008, Rooney was honored as one of ABC World News Tonight’s Persons of the Year and one of People Magazine’s Heroes of the Year. The owner of two golf courses and a PGA of America professional, Rooney has received the White House's Presidential Volunteer Service Award, the Air National Guard's Distinguished Service Medal, the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and the PGA of America's first-ever Patriot Award. He was a runaway winner over East Lake re-developer Tom Cousins and the PGA Tour Wives Association.

Gustafson has been on eight Solheim Cups and won five LPGA events in her 13-year career, but hasn’t gotten the attention that such a record would merit because of her stuttering problem. Last fall, she opened up and went “outside my comfort zone” to do a pre-Solheim television interview with incredible grace and dignity. She often lets her thoughtful – and fun side -- and her sense of humor show through on her blog and in her tweets. She edged Bryce Molder for the Award. Heath Slocum finished third.

In one of the closest votes in GWAA history, Faxon won the ASAP/Jim Murray Award by just seven votes over Stewart Cink, while Greg Norman finished third.  Faxon has won eight PGA Tour events and won his first Champions event  -- the Insperity Championship – last fall and is one of the most accessible players. He has played more than 700 rounds and has likely been approached by a media member after at least 95 percent of them. After winning at the Insperity, he took a whipped cream pie in the face on the Golf Channel, then came to the media room still wiping the pie off his face and clothes. Faxon and Billy Andrade were honored with the GWAA’s 1999 Charlie Bartlett Award for their Billy Andrade/BradFaxon Charities for Children, Inc., which was formed in 1991 and has donated more than $8 million to youngsters in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts. Faxon also won the 2005 Payne Stewart Award.

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 Jack Burke, Jr., the Harmon Family, Furman Bisher, Pete Dye, 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, Tom Watson, Barbara Douglas, Ken Green, 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.

This is the 10th year for the ASAP/Jim Murray Award. Previous winners were Steve Stricker, Padraig Harrington, Juli Inkster, Palmer, Nicklaus, Lopez, Nick Price, Fred Funk, Jay Haas and Gary Player.

The 900-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.

Partner Links
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
AmEx image
Chevron
   

The USGA and Chevron have committed to using the game of golf to encourage students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. This commitment has led to the creation of extensive golf-focused STEM teaching tools, and has resulted in charitable contributions to support golf-related programs through Eagles for Education™

At U.S. Open Championships the Chevron STEM ZONE™ is an interactive experience highlighting the science and math behind the game of golf through a variety of hands-on exhibits and experiments.

The partnership has also produced educational materials such as the Science of Golf video series and a nationally-distributed newspaper insert which are provided to teachers as tools to enhance existing curriculum in schools. These lessons teach the science behind the USGA’s equipment testing, handicapping, and agronomy efforts.

For more interactive experiences featuring golf-focused STEM lessons, visit the partnership homepage.

Chevron image
Rolex
   

Rolex has been a longtime supporter of the USGA and salutes the sportsmanship and great traditions unique to the game. This support includes the Rules of Golf where Rolex has partnered with the USGA to ensure golfers understand and appreciate the game.

As the official timekeeper of the USGA and its championships, they also provide clocks throughout host sites for spectator convenience.

For more information on Rolex and their celebration of the game, visit the Rolex and Golf homepage.



Rolex image
IBM
   

IBM has partnered with the USGA to bring the same technology, expertise, and innovation it provides to businesses all over the world to the USGA and golf's national championship.

IBM provides the information technology to develop and host the U.S. Open’s official website, www.usopen.com, as well as the mobile apps and scoring systems for the three U.S. Open championships. These real-time technology solutions provide an enhanced experience for fans following the championship onsite and online.

For more information on IBM and the technology that powers the U.S. Open and businesses worldwide, visit http://www.usopen.com/IBM

AmEx image
Lexus
   

Lexus is committed to partnering with the USGA to deliver a best-in-class experience for the world’s best golfers by providing a fleet of courtesy luxury vehicles for all USGA Championships.

At each U.S. Open, Women’s Open and Senior Open, Lexus provides spectators with access to unique experiences ranging from the opportunity to have a picture taken with both the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open trophies to autograph signings with legendary Lexus Golf Ambassadors in the Lexus Performance Drive Pavilion.

For more information on Lexus, visit http://www.lexus.com/

AmEx image
American Express
   

Together, American Express and the USGA have been providing world-class service to golf fans since 2006. By creating interactive U.S. Open experiences both onsite and online, American Express enhances the USGA’s effort to make the game more accessible and enjoyable for fans.

For more information on American Express visit www.americanexpress.com/entertainment


AmEx image