Stephen Behr became the first Clemson golfer to receive the Byron Nelson Award when the 2016 honor was announced on Wednesday.
The award is given to a graduating collegiate senior "who demonstrates the qualities exemplified by Mr. Nelson," according to the award's Twitter account.
"This award is one of the biggest and best in college golf," said Behr, who turned 23 on Wednesday. "To me it is the most prestigious, because the collegiate golfer who wins it must have the entire package, excelling in all areas that make being a student-athlete a challenge; playing well in competition, staying competitive in the classroom, and carrying oneself with honesty, integrity and respect."
Behr, a graduate student ranked 27th nationally by Golfweek, earned his financial management degree last May with a 3.91 GPA. On the course this season, Behr posted a team-high 71.88 stroke average, and his career mark of 72.48 ranks seventh all-time for a program that's produced a host of PGA Tour pros, including Lucas Glover, Jonathan Byrd and Kyle Stanley. Behr has four top-10 finishes in this season's tournaments, and he's shot par or better in 12 of his 24 rounds.
Off the course, the Florence native participates in several community projects, including the Clemson food drive and T.I.G.E.R! Pals, which creates pen pal matches between Clemson athletes and underprivileged local children. He's also a member of the university's student-athlete advisory committee.
The Byron Nelson Award, which dates back to 2002, is named after the Hall of Fame golfer, who set a record in 1945 with 18 tournament wins. Nelson also is famed for his integrity and character.
The Golf Coaches Association of America gives out the award each year.
"It means a lot," Behr said. "I got chills when I found out I won this award.
"I'm so happy that I won this award for Clemson. I've had so many people help me and support me throughout the years, and for me to win this award, it's kind of a way for me to give back to them."
Behr will lead the 10th-ranked Tigers into the three-day ACC Championships, which begin Friday at The Old North State Club in New London, North Carolina. Along with Behr, Pendleton natives Austin Langdale (71.96) and Carson Young (72.88) join Miller Capps (73.29) and Bryson Nimmer (72.87) to make up this year's squad, which is searching for the program's first ACC title since 2004.
This article was written by Brad Senkiw from Anderson Independent Mail of South Carolina and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.