Golfer Stewart Cink has been named the recipient of the 2017 Payne Stewart Award.
Cink, who joined the PGA Tour in 1997, was recognized for his philanthropic endeavors, commitment to growing the game, professionalism and the distinguished manner in which he embraces the values of golf, the PGA Tour announced Monday.
The 44-year-old Stewart, who lives in the Atlanta area and is a graduate of Georgia Tech, will be honored on Sept. 19 at the Payne Stewart Award Ceremony in conjunction with the Tour Championship, the season-ending tournament in Atlanta.
The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually 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 the week of the Tour Championship in 1999.
"To receive the Payne Stewart Award is one of the greatest honors of my career," Cink said in a statement. "Payne Stewart was a player and person whom I admired greatly, both on and off the course. His character, his infectious spirit and his dedication to growing the game were all traits that I have always aspired to emulate. I am thankful the PGA Tour and (sponsor) Southern Company have found a way through this award to honor and remember Payne's legacy."
Cink has six PGA Tour wins, including a major in the 2009 British Open playoff victory over a then 59-year-old Tom Watson at Turnberry, Scotland. Cink's wife Lisa has been battling breast cancer, a fight the couple has made public to help inspire others facing the disease.
"Stewart Cink epitomizes the ideals around which the Payne Stewart Award is built -- character, charity and sportsmanship," said PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan. "It's fitting that we will present the honor to him during the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Not only is Stewart a member there, but he also passionately supports the East Lake Foundation, which has done incredible community work in that area.
"When his wife Lisa dug in for her fight against breast cancer, Stewart was a pillar of strength and provided an admirable sense of perspective. He had done similarly a few years earlier when he won the Open Championship, even as many were cheering on the sentimental favorite, Tom Watson. Stewart smiled. He understood. In every sense of the words he showed character and sportsmanship."