SANTA BARBARA, CA - Byron Nelson, whose accomplishments as a player, teacher and commentator are widely celebrated, has been selected to receive the 2002 Donald Ross Award from the American Society of Golf Course Architects (ASGCA).
The award will be presented to Nelson at the Donald Ross Banquet on Tuesday, April 30, in Santa Barbara, Calif., during the ASGCA's 56th Annual Meeting.
The Society's most prestigious honor, the Donald Ross Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions to the game of golf and the profession of golf course architecture. Nelson joins ASGCA member Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gene Sarazen among golf professionals honored with the architects' award.
"Byron's accomplishments as a player, in addition to his dedication to the game of golf, have won the respect and admiration of his peers and fans around the world," said ASGCA President Damian Pascuzzo. "As a player, his exploits have withstood the test of time and few exemplify Byron's integrity, character and continued devotion to the game. Nelson also has demonstrated his commitment to golf course architecture by helping the public understand the subtle characteristics of great golf courses through his analysis and commentaries.
Nelson's career in professional golf ranks him among the best who ever played the game. Nelson recorded 54 career victories, including a record 11 in a row from March 8 through August 5, 1945. He also holds or shares a host of records, including the most consecutive finishes in the money (113). "Lord Byron" won five major championships, including The Masters (1937, 1942), PGA Championship (1940, 1945) and the 1939 U.S. Open.
He has also represented the U.S. in the prestigious Ryder Cup four times and is one of only two golfers to be named "Athlete of the Year" by the Associated Press two or more times.
Nelson continued to share his profound knowledge of the game, as both a teacher and analyst, with six-time PGA Player of the Year Tom Watson and 1964 Player of the Year Ken Venturi as two of his prized pupils. Nelson helped to develop the TPC Four Seasons at Los Colinas, site of the Verizon Byron Nelson Classic, into a world-class facility.
As the only PGA TOUR event named in honor of a professional golfer, the Byron Nelson Classic traditionally boasts one of the strongest fields, due to the respect and admiration that today's players have for Nelson. For More Information
The American Society of Golf Course Architects is composed of 150 leading golf course architects throughout North America. All meet the organization's stringent requirements for membership. To learn more about the ASGCA, contact it by phone (312) 372-7090 or by fax (312) 372-6160.
Story from The American Society of Golf Course Architects.
February 25, 2002