Nominees and select honorees from across the world of sports were unveiled for the third annual Sports Humanitarian of the Year Awards, presented by ESPN and sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb. The event will celebrate and honor leagues, teams, individuals and members of the sporting community that are using the power of sport to make a positive impact on society. It will take place for the first time at L.A. LIVE’s The Novo on Tuesday, July 11.
Special Encore Presentation of Payne, Golf Channel’s Documentary Chronicling the Life and Career of Payne Stewart, Tonight at 8 p.m. ET
ORLANDO, Fla. (Sept. 22, 2015) – Four-time major champion Ernie Els will receive the 2015 Payne Stewart Award – presented annually to a professional golfer who best exemplifies Payne Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship – during a special ceremony airing live on Golf Channel as a Golf Central special, tonight at 7 p.m. ET.
Els is widely recognized for his philanthropy off the golf course, in particular for his devotion to improving the lives of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Els for Autism Foundation), as well as the development of junior golf in his native South Africa (Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation). 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. In 2000, the PGA TOUR created the Payne Stewart award in his honor and Southern Company has supported the annual presentation since its inception. Past winners have all distinguished themselves through their respect for the game, the TOUR’s tradition of charity and their ability to make a positive impact in the lives of others.
Hosted by Dan Hicks and Todd Lewis, coverage of the award ceremony will begin at 6 p.m. ET within Golf Central, featuring interviews with Stewart’s wife and daughter, Tracey and Chelsea Stewart; Els’ wife and co-founder of the Els for Autism Foundation, Liezl Els; PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem; PGA TOUR professionals Jordan Spieth and Jimmy Walker; and Southern Company Chairman and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. During the award ceremony (beginning at 7 p.m. ET), Els will sit down with Lewis to discuss the award and his accomplishments off the course. Rich Lerner will conclude the special in delivering a tribute essay to Els and his family.
Els is the 18th recipient of the award, joining a distinguished group of past recipients including inaugural recipients Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (2000). Other recipients include Nick Faldo (2014), Peter Jacobsen (2013), Steve Stricker (2012), David Toms (2011), Tom Lehman (2010), Kenny Perry (2009), Davis Love III (2008), Hal Sutton (2007), Gary Player (2006), Brad Faxon (2005), Jay Haas (2004), Tom Watson (2003), Nick Price (2002) and Ben Crenshaw (2001).
Following the ceremony at 8 p.m. ET, Golf Channel will air a special encore presentation of Payne, the critically-acclaimed one-hour documentary chronicling Stewart’s life and career and remembering the dedicated family man, entertainer, jokester and golf fashion-icon.
-NBC Sports Group-