ATLANTA, Sept. 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern Company today joined the PGA TOUR in proudly recognizing Steve Stricker as the 2012 recipient of the Payne Stewart Award. Stricker was honored in a ceremony at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually to a professional golfer who demonstrates respect for the traditions of the game, a commitment to uphold the game's heritage of charitable support and the professional and meticulous presentation of himself and the sport through his dress and conduct.
The award honors the memory of Payne Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR and World Golf Hall of Fame member who died tragically the week of the TOUR Championship in 1999. Southern Company, the "Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR and Champions Tour," was the TOUR Championship sponsor the year of Stewart's passing. The PGA TOUR created the Payne Stewart Award in his honor, and Southern Company has supported the annual presentation since its inception.
"Payne Stewart led by example, motivating and inspiring his peers, fans and countless others to achieve success in golf and in life," said Southern Company Chairman, President and CEO Thomas A. Fanning. "Character, integrity and commitment are the foundations of the Payne Stewart Award, and Southern Company shares a deeply held appreciation of these values. We are pleased to honor Steve Stricker, another deserving champion, with the presentation of the Payne Stewart Award."
Stricker, 45, is a longtime professional golfer who has revitalized his career in recent years, winning nine of his 12 PGA TOUR titles since turning 40 and earning consecutive Comeback Player of the Year Awards in the process. He is ranked among the top players in the world and has been selected to the U.S. Ryder Cup Team this year.
A dedicated husband and a father of two, Stricker spends much of his time off the course helping others through his involvement with charities assisting children and adults with disabilities.
In presenting the Payne Stewart Award, Southern Company contributes each year to three charities, including Payne and his wife Tracy Stewart's primary charity – The Stewart Family Foundation – The First Tee of the Ozarks located in Stewart's native Missouri and a charity designated by the recipient.
"Southern Company recognizes the importance of supporting our local communities through charitable giving," said Fanning. "In 2011 alone, our company donated $28 million to charitable causes and our employees contributed more than 250,000 hours of service to our local communities. Our support of the Payne Stewart Award is part of our ongoing commitment to ensure our communities are better off because we serve them."
Past recipients of the Payne Stewart Award include: Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (2000); Ben Crenshaw (2001); Nick Price (2002); Tom Watson (2003); Jay Haas (2004); Brad Faxon (2005); Gary Player (2006); Hal Sutton (2007); Davis Love III (2008); Kenny Perry (2009); Tom Lehman (2010); and David Toms last year.
With 4.4 million customers and more than 43,000 megawatts of generating capacity, Atlanta-based Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is the premier energy company serving the Southeast. A leading U.S. producer of electricity, Southern Company owns electric utilities in four states and a growing competitive generation company, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and retail electric prices that are below the national average. Southern Company also is continually ranked among the top utilities in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at www.southerncompany.com.
SOURCE Southern Company