?Steve Stricker, a player respected for his attitude, determination and approach as a champion both on and off the golf course, has been named the 2012 winner of the Payne Stewart Award. The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually to a player sharing Stewart’s respect for the traditions of the game, his commitment to uphold the game’s heritage of charitable support and his professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct.  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.

"It's very humbling and an honor that I never thought would be possible," said an emotional Stricker who teared up about three words into his press conference. "I'm very fortunate and blessed to be a part of this."

Stricker, who is ranked No. 13 in the current FedEx Cup standings, will participate in the TOUR Championship this week, followed by his third appearance on the United States Ryder Cup team next week.

“This award means a great deal to the players on the PGA TOUR, and I am truly grateful to be the recipient of the Payne Stewart Award,” said Stricker. “I take great pride in being recognized for the values that the Payne Stewart Award stands for. I was fortunate enough to spend time with and compete against Payne, and I watched how he handled himself on the course, with his fellow competitors, with the fans and volunteers. I hope that by leading by example, just as Payne did, that our younger players will follow in the traditions of sportsmanship, integrity and charitable efforts that he helped bring to our sport.”

Stricker is dedicated to using the game of golf to give back to his community and those in need, with many of his charitable pursuits centering around children and adults with disabilities, providing them with programs that help improve their lives.

“For years, Steve Stricker has epitomized everything that the Payne Stewart Award represents,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. “From his professionalism on the golf course to his compassion for others off of it, it is hard to think of a more fitting recipient.”

Stricker becomes the 15th recipient of the award which has also been presented to fellow Titleist Brand Ambassadors Jay Haas (2004) and Brad Faxon (2005) among others.