|Zach Johnson Honored with PGA TOUR’s Payne Stewart Award|
One thing is for certain, Zach Johnson is a class act on and off the course and it doesn’t go unnoticed. As you may have recently heard, Zach Johnson has been named the recipient of the PGA TOUR’s Payne Stewart Award presented by Southern Company, in acknowledgement of his character, sportsmanship and dedication to charitable giving. Johnson was honored last week at the Payne Stewart Award Ceremony in conjunction with the TOUR Championship.|
The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually by the PGA TOUR to a professional golfer who best exemplifies Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship. Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR and World Golf Hall of Fame member, died tragically 21 years ago during the week of the TOUR Championship in 1999. Southern Company, the “Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions,” was the TOUR Championship sponsor the year of Stewart’s passing. A year later, the PGA TOUR created the Payne Stewart Award in his honor, and Southern Company has supported the annual presentation since its inception.
The past winners have all distinguished themselves through their respect for the game, the PGA TOUR’s tradition of charity and their ability to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
“I never got to meet Payne, but I loved him,” Johnson said. “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. 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.”
“I am deeply grateful and honored. 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.”
Johnson, 44, was born in Iowa City, Iowa, but was raised 30 miles north in Cedar Rapids where he took up the game as a 10-year-old. He honed his skills at nearby Elmcrest Country Club, which now hosts the annual Zach Johnson Foundation Classic.
Though Johnson and Stewart never met, the two are well-connected on the golf course, and more specifically on the greens. Johnson employed the same SeeMore FGP putter that Stewart used to win the 1999 U.S. Open for all 12 of his PGA TOUR wins, including his most recent title at the 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews.
“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 the 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.”
Zach Johnson joins Dan Hicks to reflect on the honor of being the 2020 Payne Stewart Award recipient.
Interesting Facts about Zach Johnson:
|In addition to a sculpture by Bob Pack presented to the recipient, the Payne Stewart Award is accompanied by an annual Payne Stewart Award Grant of which $300,000 was designated this year to the Zach Johnson Foundation.|
|In 2010, Zach and Kim established the Zach Johnson Foundation, which fulfills a dream of theirs to give back to children and families in Cedar Rapids, Iowa in a long-lasting and meaningful way. Their non-profit, Kids on Course, serves 1,000+ students with the goal of closing the opportunity gap so all students can be on a path for post-secondary education.|
|During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Foundation has adapted to continue reaching those most in need. Following the cancellation of the 2020 Zach Johnson Foundation Classic, a virtual gala was held on June 6, which raised more than $180,000.|
A Distinguished Career:
|The Kids on Course staff have delivered more than 3,800 food boxes to those in need. More than 20 Zach Johnson Foundation AmeriCorps members are serving at the nine school meal sites across the Cedar Rapids Community School District. To date, nearly 521,724 meals have been distributed since the meal program started after spring break.|
|Johnson is a two-time Valero Texas Open champion (2008 & 2009). Following a third-round 60 at the 2009 Valero Texas Open, Johnson became the first player on the PGA TOUR to shoot 60 twice (2007 TOUR Championship).|
|Johnson has been a mainstay in the professional ranks since first joining the PGA TOUR in 2004 after finishing as the leading money winner on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2003. Now a 12-time PGA TOUR winner, Johnson’s career is highlighted by victories at the 2007 Masters and 2015 Open Championship at St. Andrews.|
|Johnson has competed in nine team events for the United States – four Presidents Cups and five Ryder Cups – spanning from 2006-2016. In 2018, Johnson made his debut as a captain’s assistant for Jim Furyk at the Ryder Cup and assisted Tiger Woods at the 2019 Presidents Cup.|
Johnson is the 23rd recipient of the Payne Stewart Award, joining a distinguished group of respected golfers. He joins a list of other award recipients that have also won the Valero Texas Open: Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer, Hal Sutton, Jay Haas, Tom Watson, and Ben Crenshaw.
|In 2016, Johnson was inducted into the Iowa Golf Hall of Fame.|
We are proud of our two-time Valero Texas Open champion, Zach Johnson, for being this year’s recipient of the distinguished PGA TOUR’s Payne Stewart Award.
|FedExCup Champion: Dustin Johnson|
Each PGA TOUR season is packed with tons of action but this year, it took some major unexpected twists along the way as the pandemic significantly altered the tournament schedule. With 49 original tournaments reduced to 33, this past week’s TOUR Championship represented the finale for the #FedExCup season as the top 30 players vied for the honored title.|
Lead characters included Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas – the first time in FedExCup history the top three players headed into the season finale were also the top three in the Official World Golf Ranking. Rory McIlroy had a chance to become the first player to win back-to-back FedExCup titles, and three total. It also included 12 international players in the field, including Chile’s Joaquin Niemann, who won the season-opener and looked to bookend it with a win.
In the end, Dustin Johnson took a five-shot lead into the final round of the season, but his lead was down to two on the back nine. That’s when he executed a series of clutch shots that helped keep his closest competitors at bay. Johnson made eight consecutive pars on the back nine before a birdie at the last hole. He shot 68 on Monday to win by three. His three victories this season – he also won the Travelers Championship in June – tied Thomas for the most on the PGA TOUR this season. Johnson also was runner-up in the lone major of the season.
“It was a tough day, tough golf course, and I’m definitely excited it’s over and that I can celebrate a little bit now. It was a grind out there. But I’m very proud to be the FedExCup champion. It’s a very tough trophy to win and I’ve been close so many times,” Johnson said after his third victory this season.
“I wanted to hold that trophy at the end of the day. It was something that I wanted to accomplish during my career, and obviously I got one of them. Now I’m going to try to get me another.”
Dustin Johnson at the Valero Texas Open:
|After playing in his first Walker Cup in September, Johnson turned professional on September 28 and made his PGA TOUR debut at the 2007 Valero Texas Open. |
|At the 2015 Valero Texas Open Johnson finished T6.|
|Super Season: 2020-2021 PGA TOUR Schedule|
The PGA TOUR recently announced the complete schedule for the 2020-21 PGA TOUR Season, featuring 50 official FedExCup tournaments – including 14 tournaments that were postponed or canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – culminating with the crowning of the FedExCup champion Labor Day weekend in 2021.|
The schedule, which reflects a net increase of one tournament over the original 2019-20 schedule, features the most tournaments in a season since 1975 (51). Three events postponed in 2020 – U.S. Open, Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship and Masters Tournament – will be played in the fall portion of the 2020-21 season and again in their traditional dates during the 2021 calendar year, along with 11 tournaments that were canceled and not rescheduled as a result of the pandemic, including the THE PLAYERS Championship. In addition, with the postponement of the Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, the men’s Olympic Golf competition will take place July 26-August 1, 2021, as a standalone event for the first time.
“We are excited to present the full 2020-21 PGA TOUR schedule – a ‘super season’ of 50 fully sponsored events and capped off by the 15th edition of the FedExCup Playoffs,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “If you’re a golf fan, this is a dream season with more significant events than ever before, including the Olympic Games. Building our schedule is always complicated, but never more so as over the past several months as we continue to navigate challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate the extensive collaboration with our title sponsors, tournament organizations and golf’s governing bodies that has brought us here – to the exciting conclusion of an extraordinary 2019-20 season this week, and on the brink of a season of 50 events, beginning next week.”
As previously announced, the 2020-21 season will begin September 7-13 at the Safeway Open in Napa, California, which will serve as the season-opening tournament for the sixth time in seven years since the TOUR went to a wraparound schedule. The U.S. Open (September 14-20) at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York, follows, being played in the month of September for the first time since 1913, as well as the rescheduled Corales Puntacana Resort & Club Championship (September 21-27), which will award full FedExCup points (500) for the first time.
After the 40th playing of The Honda Classic, the TOUR’s longest-running title sponsored event dating back to 1982 – an eight-week stretch begins that includes six tournaments that were canceled and not rescheduled during the 2019-20 season prior to the PGA Championship, beginning with the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play followed by the Valero Texas Open and through the AT&T Byron Nelson. Additional tournaments that return to the schedule include the RBC Canadian Open, John Deere Classic, The Open Championship and the Barbasol Championship.
The men’s Olympic Golf competition (July 26-August 1) will be played the week after the 3M Open as a standalone event for the first time and will be followed by the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational and Barracuda Championship, before the FedExCup Regular Season concludes at the Wyndham Championship.
The FedExCup Playoffs will consist of three events: THE NORTHERN TRUST returns to Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, which will host the event for the fourth time; the BMW Championship will be played for the first time at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland, outside of Baltimore; and the season-ending TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta will conclude on September 5, the Sunday of Labor Day weekend.
Click here to read all of the schedule details for the new season.
Please mark your calendars for the 99th edition and return of the Valero Texas Open, March 29 – April 4, 2021.
|Champions fore Charity: Welcoming New Charities & Schools to Participate in Fundraising Program|
Charities and schools are trying to get creative in raising funds these days, especially with the difficulty of hosting special events in an environment where many individuals are social distancing and preferring contact-less interaction. With that in mind, Valero Texas Open is providing an opportunity to assist with fundraising strategies.|
Champions fore Charity is unique in that there are NO COSTS except staff time… and participating organizations receive 100% of funds generated and sometimes more with incentives offered, like a 7% match provided by the Valero Texas Open and the Champions fore Charity program partners. Isn’t it difficult to pass on 107% revenue with zero risk?
Funds are generated by soliciting donations from individuals and corporations with the flexibility to pay in advance or to be billed after the tournament. Donations are accepted from anywhere around the world and are tax deductible, thanks to the Valero Texas Open’s non-profit 501(c)3 status. The seven month campaign will kick off in October and will conclude in April 2021 – providing ample time to fundraise as much as little of the season as desired.
Registration to participate in the 2020-2021 fundraising campaign for charities and schools is underway. All types of philanthropies, as well as, school programs like athletic teams, dance & cheer, science programs, PTA, Project Graduation and much more… are all welcome to participate. We look forward to helping more charities raise funds!
There are many benefits for organizations to register and participate:
|There is zero risk to get involved|
|No cost to register and participate in the fundraising program (no registration fees nor merchant fees)|
|100% of the funds raised through the fundraising campaign goes directly back to the organization|
|Custom donation links are provided for donors (and the ability to provide custom donation forms if desired)|
|By raising a minimum of $1,000+, participating charities and schools can earn an additional 7% match on what’s collected in the program|
|Donors have a chance to win prizes|
|Opportunities to earn additional funds through a variety of incentives offered|
Free Webinar Info Session
If your charity or school is interested in learning more, a webinar will be held Thursday, September 17 at 9:30 am CT to learn more about this great community initiative. Click here to RSVP to secure your spot in the info session and receive the link to the free webinar.
RSVP to secure your spot in the info session and receive the link to the free webinar.