Justin Rose never got to know Payne Stewart personally but they are now tied together in a meaningful way.
Rose was named the 2021 recipient of the Payne Stewart award, given annually to a PGA Tour player for his character, charity and sportsmanship. Rose will receive the award Aug. 31 in Atlanta as part of Tour Championship week.
“That’s been a huge surprise and a lovely honor and something that’s definitely uplifted me. It’s the kind of award I think that clearly it’s not based around your golf,” Rose said. “The golf’s been a platform for me to sort of, I guess, do other things and be honored and recognized in this way, but it’s the type of reward that kind of makes you reflect a little bit on all the things that contributed towards that … It’s a nice feel-good feeling, absolutely.”
Rose and his wife, Kate, established their foundation in 2009 and have done extensive work with charities in his native South Africa, England, the Bahamas and the United States.
The Kate & Justin Rose Foundation has raised more than $3 million, provided more than 500,000 hunger-free weekends and more than 300,000 books for young people.
The foundation was also instrumental in rebuilding the Grand Bahamas Children’s Home that was destroyed by Hurricane Dorian in 2019. They also created the Rose Ladies Series to provide tournament golf for professional female golfers in England during the pandemic.
Rose learned of the award in a video call with Stewart’s widow, Tracey, and their son, Aaron.
“Really sort of hit me when you see the family themselves who are so obviously invested in it and invested in Payne's legacy,” Rose said. “I’ve been to the awards ceremony many times, but now to be on the receiving end of things, the gravity of it definitely hits you.”
The USGA has made an increased commitment to holding its championships at Oakmont and Merion golf clubs. The governing body has committed to staging five U.S. Opens and four U.S. Women’s Opens at the two Pennsylvania courses, which have hosted 17 and 18 USGA championships, respectively.
Oakmont, site of last week’s U.S. Amateur, already had been announced as the 2025 U.S. Open venue. It now also will stage the 2028 and 2038 U.S. Women’s Opens, the 2034, 2042 and 2049 U.S. Opens, the 2033 Walker Cup Match and the 2046 U.S. Women’s Amateur.
Merion, which was scheduled previously to stage the 2022 Curtis Cup Match and the 2026 U.S. Amateur, will host four additional Opens – the 2030 and 2050 U.S. Opens and the 2034 and 2046 U.S. Women’s Opens, with additional championships to be named in the future.
“Oakmont and Merion are iconic in every sense of the word – they’re in rare company in golf and continue to test the best in the game,” said John Bodenhamer, the USGA’s senior managing director for championships. “We’re making history and kicking off a new era for our national championships in Pennsylvania, and we couldn’t be more excited for what lies ahead.”
Jensen Castle was one of the standout movers on last week’s World Amateur Golf Ranking following her U.S. Women’s Amateur victory. Aside from receiving an automatic place on the U.S. Curtis Cup team, plus spots in this week’s AIG Women’s Open and next year’s U.S. Women’s Open, Castle reached a career high of 151st on the WAGR, a 97-place ranking rise.
Canada’s Max Sekulic stood out on the men’s ranking. He also achieved a personal best with a jump of 175 spots to 489th after winning the Canadian Men’s Amateur Championship.
The governing body of the Official World Golf Ranking system has announced it has made a number of adjustments to its system.
A press release, published last week, stated that: “Over the last three years, OWGR has coordinated an independent analysis of the ranking and its system to ensure it is meeting its key objective of publishing a transparent, credible and accurate ranking based on the relative performances of participating players.
“The results of this analysis have led to changes, including distribution of ranking points to all players making the cut to provide greater differentiation of performances; and use of a field rating calculation based on a statistical evaluation of every player in the field, rather than just those in the field among the current top 200 of the ranking.“Major championships will continue to award 100 first place points, while the Players Championship will award 80. All other tournaments will award ranking points according to the strength and depth of their fields, with a maximum of 80 first place points.”
The U.S. team for the Curtis Cup has been finalized with U.S. Women’s Amateur champion Jensen Castle joined by Gina Kim, Rachel Kuehn, Brooke Matthews and Emilia Migliaccio, in addition to automatic picks Rose Zhang, Rachel Heck and Allisen Corpuz. The travelling reserves are Megan Schofill and Megha Ganne.
“I couldn't be more excited to finally have the team in place,” said U.S. captain Sarah Ingram. “Over the last two years, I've gotten to know many of these young ladies and have a tremendous amount of admiration and respect for them as golfers and people. We are going to work hard over the next week with the goal of bringing the trophy back to the United States.”
Great Britain & Ireland selectors have named the team that will face the United States next week at Conwy Golf Club in Wales.
It features four English women (Annabel Fuller, Charlotte Heath, Caley McGinty and Emily Toy), two Scots (Hannah Darling and Louise Duncan) and two Irish players (Lauren Walsh and Annabel Wilson). The travelling reserves are Scotland’s Hazel MacGarvie and Julie McCarthy.
“I’m delighted with the eight and the two travelling reserves that we have selected,” said GB&I captain Elaine Ratcliffe. “Obviously, it’s been a trying year or so with the postponement (in 2020 due to COVID-19) but it has allowed for some players to come through who have been playing really well.”
The U.S. won the last match, in 2018, defeating GB&I by a record 17-3 scoreline at Quaker Ridge Golf Club in New York. GB&I has won the past two Curtis Cups staged on home soil, at Nairn in 2012 and Dun Laoghaire four years later.
The USGA announced that Jon Podany will become its Chief Commercial Officer, starting Sept. 1 (READ MORE). … Swedish golf journalist Göran Zachrisson died Wednesday at age 83 after a short illness. (READ MORE).
Staff and Wire Reports