Hall of Famer Jack Burke, Jr., USGA Women’s Committee chairman Barbara Douglas and Steve Stricker have been honored with three prestigious awards given by the Golf Writers Association of America.
Burke, one of the game’s great characters as well as one of its greatest statesmen, was honored with the William D. Richardson Award, given annually to recognize individuals who have consistently made an outstanding contribution to golf. Douglas, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009, won the Ben Hogan Award for remaining active in golf despite a physical handicap or serious illness. Stricker, a nine-time winner on the PGA Tour, was honored with the ASAPSports/Jim Murray Award, which recognizes a golfer for cooperation, quotability and accommodation with the media.
They will be honored, along with GWAA Players of the Year Graeme McDowell, Yani Tseng and Bernhard Langer at the Annual GWAA Awards Dinner, April 6 in Augusta, Ga.
Burke, who turns 88 later this month, has been a passionate supporter of the game as a player, teacher and champion of the amateur game. He and the late Jimmy Demaret founded Champions Golf Club -- a golf-only club -- and it went on to host a U.S. Open, Ryder Cup, U.S. Amateur and five Tour Championships. Burke was awarded the PGA of America’s Distinguished Service Award in 2007. Burke, a runner-up for the Richardson in 2010, edged Atlanta philanthropist Tom Cousins.
Douglas, who has served on the USGA women’s committee since 1993, traveled and officiated events, including the U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open, despite undergoing chemotherapy treatments. As a player, she competed in the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links, and she has been involved with the Arizona Golf Association, Arizona Junior Golf Association and Executive Women’s Golf Association. She beat Champions Tour player Bill Glasson and PGA Tour player Heath Slocum for the award.
Stricker, ranked seventh in the world, is one of the Tour’s most accessible players. He has been open and honest about his career during the tough years and the good ones. He beat Stewart Cink and Tom Lehman for the award.
Past recipients of the Richardson Award, named for The New York Times’ William D. Richardson who was instrumental in the founding of the GWAA in 1946, include the Harmon Family, Furman Bisher, Pete Dye, Louise Suggs, Judy Rankin, Nancy Lopez, Sandy Tatum, Dan Jenkins, Judy Bell, Babe Zaharias, Jack Nicklaus, Ely Callaway, Ben Hogan, Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, Patty Berg, Gene Sarazen, Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw, Harvey Penick, Peggy Kirk Bell, Frank Hannigan, Kathy Whitworth and Lee Trevino.
Former Hogan award winners include Rankin, Tom Watson, Ken Green, Erik Compton, Denis Watson, Hubert Green, Bruce Edwards, Jeff Julian, Scott Verplank, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Casey Martin, Paul Azinger, Robert Allenby, Lee Trevino, John Mahaffey, Jim Nelford, Ken Venturi, Terri-Jo Meyers and Steve Jones.
This is the ninth year for the ASAP/Jim Murray Award. Previous winners were Padraig Harrington, Juli Inkster, Palmer, Nicklaus, Lopez, Nick Price, Fred Funk, Jay Haas and Gary Player.
The 900-member GWAA takes an active role in protecting the interests of all golf journalists, works closely with all of golf’s major governing bodies and the World Golf Hall of Fame.