Toms wins the 2011 Payne Stewart Award

Atlanta: Former PGA Championship winner David Toms, whose charitable foundation helped raise more than USD1.5 million (953,471 pounds) for the relief effort after Hurricane Katrina, was awarded the Payne Stewart Award.

The honour is given annually to a player sharing Stewart`s respect for the traditions of the game and his commitment to uphold golf`s heritage of charitable support.

"For years, David Toms has epitomised everything that the Payne Stewart Award represents," Tour commissioner Tim Finchem told reporters at East Lake Golf Club ahead of this week`s Tour Championship.

"He`s raised and given away millions of dollars to kids who are abandoned, underprivileged and abused. He and his foundation got involved in the aftermath of Katrina.”

"In addition to everything else, has been a leader on the PGA Tour ... all of us in the sport owe him a debt of gratitude for the contribution he`s made in that regard."

Toms established his foundation in 2003 to work with at-risk boys and girls by providing them with programmes designed to enhance a child`s character, self-esteem and career possibilities.

"This is one of the best honours in golf, and I am truly grateful to be the recipient of the Payne Stewart Award," said Toms, a 13-times PGA Tour winner who clinched his only major title at the 2001 PGA Championship in Atlanta.

"The fact that this recognises so many different attributes is very humbling. I was fortunate enough to know Payne and play against him, and that makes this even more special."

Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Price, Tom Watson, Jay Haas, Brad Faxon, Gary Player, Hal Sutton, Davis Love III, Kenny Perry and Tom Lehman were previous winners of the award.

American Stewart, who died in a plane crash in 1999, won 11 times on the PGA Tour including three majors.

Bureau Report