ATLANTA, (Oct. 27, 2020) – The recipients of the 2020 Tom Cousins Award were announced Monday night in conjunction with the East Lake Cup in Atlanta, as Lauren Waidner (University of Florida) and JP Roller (Texas Tech University) received the sixth annual presentation of the award.
The honor recognizes a female and male collegiate golfer who best represent the values of the award: excelling in academics and engagement in the community.
Waidner (Fleming Island, Fla.) earned the distinction for her selfless commitment to several charitable causes, and she also took part in an internship last summer centered around pediatric hospital care. The experience ultimately led the senior psychology and biology major to join a volunteer program that includes weekly hospital visits to mentor critically ill youth.
Roller, a freshman for the Red Raiders, has taken part in several service projects in his hometown (Jenks, Okla.), utilizing golf as a fundraising vehicle for helping others in need. Roller’s efforts also led to him being awarded the Jerry Cole Sportsmanship Award in 2019, presented by the American Junior Golf Association (AJGA).
The Tom Cousins Award is named after developer and philanthropist Tom Cousins, who laid out an aspirational blueprint to revitalize the East Lake community of Atlanta by providing cradle-to-college education, mixed-income housing and community wellness to break the cycle of poverty to create a holistic environment. East Lake now acts as a national model for community redevelopment through Purpose Built Communities for transforming a struggling community into a thriving neighborhood.
The East Lake Cup is being contested over three days, following the format from the final three days of the NCAA men’s and women’s golf national championships. On Monday, the eight teams competed in individual stroke play competition to determine the individual men’s and women’s champion and to seed for two days of match-play competition. Today and tomorrow, two match-play tournaments are being hosted simultaneously for the men’s and women’s divisions, with the semifinals taking place today and the finals and consolation matches on Wednesday.
Teams for the East Lake Cup are competing on the championship golf course at East Lake Golf Club, home of the TOUR Championship, the season-ending event of the PGA TOUR’s FedExCup Playoffs. The East Lake Cup benefits the East Lake Foundation, a charitable organization dedicated to helping families build better lives and help children reach their highest potential. The East Lake Cup is one of the largest contributors to the East Lake Foundation, having raised more than $1.5 million for the East Lake Foundation since the tournament’s inception in 2015. ZipRecruiter and Uber Eats are the co-presenting sponsors of the East Lake Cup, with Bridgestone Golf, Mercedes-Benz and Topgolf serving as additional sponsors of the event.
-NBC Sports Group-