One of Europe’s finest golfers, Lee Westwood, has become the latest recipient of the PGA Recognition Award for his outstanding contribution to the game of golf.
The 45-year-old collected the honour from PGA Captain John Heggarty at the Association’s annual fundraising lunch, held at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on December 21.
Westwood is a seven-time Ryder Cup winner having made 10 appearances in the competition. He was unbeaten in both the 2004 and 2006 matches and equalled Arnold Palmer’s record of going 12 straight matches without defeat in 2008.
One of only a handful of players to have won tournaments on five continents, former world number one Westwood was awarded an OBE for his services to golf in 2011.
More recently, Westwood was vice-captain as Europe claimed back the Ryder Cup in Paris in September and less than two months later, the Worksop-born player claimed his 24th European Tour title by winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.
Westwood said: “It has been a great end to the season for me – winning again in South Africa was amazing and then to receive this prestigious award is the icing on the cake."
“I am really grateful to be recognised by the PGA and appreciate all their support.”
Commenting on Westwood’s presence as guest of honour at the Lunch, Robert Maxfield, chief executive of The PGA, said: “The PGA is delighted to present its Recognition Award to Lee, who is one of Europe’s truly great players."
“His Ryder Cup record proves that along with the fact that he ended Tiger Wood’s five-year reign as World Number One in 2010.”
“The PGA Recognition Award is our way of acknowledging great achievements in the game and I’m delighted on behalf of the PGA’s membership to bestow this accolade on Lee – he is a deserving winner and credit to the sport.”
One of the greatest Scottish Golfers of all time, Catriona Matthew, was also presented with a PGA Recognition Award at the Association's annual Lunch in Scotland.
Matthew is one of Europe’s greatest female golfer’s. A Solheim Cup stalwart with nine appearances in the competition, the 49-year-old is well placed to lead Europe when she captains the team at Gleneagles in 2019.
Scotland’s most successful female golfer has four LPGA Tour victories to her name, as well as six Ladies European Tour wins and five top-five finishes in major championships, including a win at the 2009 Women’s British Open.
As always, money raised from the PGA Lunches went to the PGA Benevolent Fund that helps PGA Members who have fallen on difficult times.