Created two years ago by the PGA Tour, the award is named for Payne Stewart, an 11-time title winner who died in a plane crash during the week of the 1999 Tour Championship.
The presentation was made near the 18th green at the Champions Golf Club -- the site of this week's Tour Championship, for which Crenshaw did not qualify.
A native Texan, Crenshaw has a special tie to Stewart. Crenshaw was the captain of the 1999 United States Ryder Cup team, which Stewart helped propel to the greatest comeback in the event's history.
Crenshaw, 49, has won 19 PGA Tour titles, including the 1984 and 1995 Masters, during a 28-year career. He missed 10 of 11 cuts in 2001 but will join the Senior PGA Tour in January.
"Ben Crenshaw has always exemplified the qualities that embody the Payne Stewart Award -- conduct, presentation, sportsmanship and integrity," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said.
The award is presented annually to players sharing Stewart's respect for the traditions of the game, commitment to charitable support and professional and meticulous presentation through his dress and conduct.
Stewart was revered on and off the golf course. Off it, he was fun-loving with an infectious party attitude. On it, he had a pure swing and his own line of clothing, complete with trademark knickers and tam-o'-shanter caps.
Among his 11 titles were three major championships. At the time of his death at age 42, he was the defending U.S. Open champion.