Watson Named 2010 Ambassador of Golf

Tom WatsonAKRON - World Golf Hall of Fame member Tom Watson has been named the 2010 Ambassador of Golf by Northern Ohio Golf Charities. The Ambassador of Golf Award is presented annually to a person or persons who have fostered the ideals of the game on an international level and whose concern for others extends beyond the golf course.

Watson, one of the winningest players in PGA Tour history who owns eight major championship titles, and nearly notched another win at last year’s Open Championship, is active in Kansas City-area charitable endeavors, ALS fundraising efforts and development of golf courses for junior players, and has made several trips to the Middle East to visit military bases.

Watson will be honored on Wednesday, Aug. 4 at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, in conjunction with the Bridgestone Invitational.

“We are pleased to honor Tom Watson this summer during the Bridgestone Invitational as the 2010 Ambassador of Golf,” said PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, on behalf of the International Federation of PGA Tours. “It was obvious and inevitable that Tom should receive this award. While his performance at last year’s British Open – where he nearly won his ninth major championship at the age of 59 – certainly brought a renewed appreciation of Tom’s incredible career and talents, he has long been an ambassador for the game of golf and just as accomplished on the course as he is as a person, husband, father, grandfather and friend. Tom most deservingly joins the esteemed list of past Ambassador of Golf recipients.”

“I have been fortunate to receive many accolades over the course of my career and am privileged and honored to receive this award that exemplifies the core values of this great game,” said Watson. “To join the distinguished ranks of past recipients who have given so much back to the game further adds to this rare honor. Now more than ever we have the responsibility to pass on golf’s legacy to future generations and this award recognizes that opportunity. I’m humbled to be a small part of this tradition.”

Watson won 39 events on the PGA Tour, including two Masters, a U.S. Open and a remarkable five British Opens. In all, Watson ranks sixth on the list of total major championship victories, and he is one of only fourteen players to have won at least three of the four golfing major titles.

Beginning in 1977, Watson won six PGA Tour Player of the Year awards, led the money list five times and won three Vardon Trophies for lowest scoring average on Tour (1977, 1978, and 1979). He’s since collected 13 wins on the Champions Tour and won the Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup in 2003 and 2005.

Watson, born in Kansas City, Mo., in 1949, was an all-around athlete growing up. Watson won four straight Missouri State Amateur championships, from 1968–1971 and attended Stanford, where he graduated with a degree in psychology and showed flashes of brilliance as a golfer.

Past recipients of the Ambassador of Golf Award are: 1981 Chi Chi Rodriguez; 1982 Bing Crosby; 1983 Byron Nelson; 1984 Gene Sarazen; 1985 President Gerald Ford; 1986 Bob Hope; 1987 Dinah Shore; 1988 Joe Dey; 1989 Frank Chirkinian; 1990 Barbara Nicklaus; 1991 Arnold Palmer; 1992 Nancy Lopez; 1993 Roberto DeVincenzo; 1994 President George H.W.Bush; 1995 Michael Bonnallack; 1996 Deane Beman; 1997 Peter Thomson; 1998 Ken Venturi; 1999 Gary Player; 2000 Ben Hogan and Sam Snead; 2001 Del de Windt; 2002 Joanne Carner; 2003 Robert Dedman Sr. and Jack Vickers; 2004 Lee Trevino; 2005 Pete Dye; 2006 Ken Schofield; 2007 Tony Jacklin; 2008 Charlie Sifford; and 2009 Hale Irwin.

Tickets to the Bridgestone Invitational can be purchased by visiting www.worldgolfchampionships.com or calling 888-401-8000.

 

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