Irving, TX, May 18, 2010 –Salesmanship Club of Dallas awarded golf legend Tom Watson with the fourth annual Byron Nelson Prize at the HP Byron Nelson Championship Opening Ceremony on Tuesday.
The Byron Nelson Prize, underwritten by T. Boone Pickens, is awarded to a person or organization in the golf world who exemplifies the ideals of “giving back” that Byron Nelson personified.
Mr. Watson attended the Opening Ceremony to receive the Byron Prize and spoke about the special honor that this award represented for him.
“Having the opportunity to become Byron’s friend, stay at his house and learn something about my golf swing from him but more importantly about how to be as a person, that’s what I’m very grateful for,” Watson said. “I got in the right profession, I guess, because I had a chance to meet up with one of the greats who was greater off the golf course than he was on.”
The Salesmanship Club of Dallas awarded $100,000 to the charity of Watson’s choice. Watson directed this charitable contribution to the Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, the First Tee of Greater Kansas City and the Bruce Edwards Foundation for ALS Research.
Watson has played in 28 Nelsons dating back to 1972. He has the most Nelson victories of any player in tournament history with four wins in 1975, 1978, 1979 and 1980.
“Mr. Watson is a legend in his own right and truly exemplifies the values of our namesake,” Salesmanship Club of Dallas President Scott Ragland said. “He perpetuates Mr. Nelson’s legacy of integrity, competitive fire, and ‘giving back’ to the game he loved and to his community. Needless to say, I can’t think of anyone more deserving to receive of the Byron Nelson Prize.”
In addition to Watson, three of the nation’s highest ranked junior golfers were also honored at the opening ceremony. Yaroslav Merkulov, originally from Russia and currently residing in Penfield, New York, Jordan Spieth of Dallas, Texas and Bobby Wyatt of Mobile, Ala., were recognized as recipients of the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Awards.
The 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship will be played May 17-23 at the TPC Four Seasons Resort Las Colinas in Irving, Texas. For more details, visit hpbnc.org.