A golfer from Cedar Rapids with ties to the Quad Cities has won a high honor from the PGA Tour. Today, the tour and Southern Company announced Zach Johnson is this year's recipient of the Payne Stewart Award.
During a surprise, online meeting (below) a few weeks ago, Johnson listened as the late Payne Stewart's son, Aaron, talked about the award and his father.
During an online press conference today, Johnson talked about his admiration for Stewart as a golfer and person.
Johnson will be honored at a ceremony on September 2nd during PGA Tour Championship week.
He's a 12-time PGA Tour winner, winning the Masters in 2007, the John Deere Classic in 2012, and the British Open in 2015. Johnson is also a long-time board member for the Quad Cities tournament.
Other Payne Stewart Award winners include Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Hale Irwin, and Steve Stricker.
In 1999, Payne Stewart died in a plane crash.
He was an eleven-time PGA Tour winner, and well-known for wearing traditional knickerbockers, socks, and a flat cap.
Ten years ago, Johnson and his wife created a foundation to raise money for children and families in the Cedar Rapids area.
And the Zach Johnson Foundation Classic is a pro-am charity golf tournament, plus gala and auction.
Last year, it raised $1.1 million.
Johnson also helped raise money to help his home town recover from the flood of 2008.