I missed this earlier, but Tom Lehman has been awarded the first Byron Nelson Prize. According to the prize’s website, the Byron Nelson Prize, will be presented to a person or organization in the golf world who exemplifies the ideals of “giving back” that Nelson personified. The Byron Nelson Prize recipient will receive a $100,000 contribution to the charity of their choice.
Lehman and his wife have raised millions for the Children’s Cancer Research Fund at the University of Minnesota.
A second program, the Byron Nelson International Junior Golf Awards, will start in 2008 and will focus on encouraging young golfers. Nelson was famous for his encouragement of juniors and young professionals. It’s been said that he wrote more than forty letters to a young Scott Verplank, who this year won Byron Nelson’s namesake tournament. Nelson also brought Woods to this tournament as a 17-year-old amateur in 1993, Sergio Garcia made his U.S. professional debut in the 1999 tournament and Justin Leonard played twice as an amateur.
With the Byron Nelson Junior Golf Awards, junior golfers from around the world will be identified by an international panel of professional golfers and golf officials with the finalists invited to Dallas each year for the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.
There’s also a Byron Nelson Award which goes to top collegiate golfers for their success on the course, in the classroom and in the community.