Golf writers honor Graeme McDowell for accessibility, Ken Duke for perseverance
The Golf Writers Association of America is honoring Ken Duke for his perseverance, Graeme McDowell for his accommodation and insight with the media, and Rhonda Glenn for her contributions to the game.
Duke won the Ben Hogan Award for remaining active in golf despite a physical ailment serious illness.
He was diagnosed with scoliosis in the seventh grade and had a 16-inch rod attached to his spine. Duke toiled for 10 years in the minor leagues before he made it to the PGA Tour, and then 10 years later won for the first time at the Travelers Championship. Duke said he was "overwhelmed," especially to win an award linked to Hogan.
"A class act, probably the best to ever play the game," he said. "He put the time into learning to play the game."
McDowell, the 2010 U.S. Open champion and Ryder Cup hero at Wales, once said about the media that relationships should grow stronger the longer a player is on tour. He's backing that up — with his talk, in this case — and won the ASAP Sports-Jim Murray Award for being accommodating to the media.
"Listen, I take my relationship with the media very seriously," McDowell said. "As you know, I'm pretty honest to a fault at times. You guys give us exposure globally. You're a very important cog in the whole golf — and sports — machine. I respect how much work you guys do and it's important — good, bad or ugly — to give you an idea of what's going on in my head and with my game."
Glenn was honored with the William D. Richardson Award for consistent and outstanding contributions to golf.
She is considered the foremost authority on women's golf, and the books she has written include "The Illustrated History of Women's Golf," published in 1991. She also wrote "Breaking the Mold," the story of Judy Bell, the first woman to be president of the U.S. Golf Association. Glenn spent 47 years at the USGA and was a prominent figure at the women's championships. She also the first female sportscaster to work full-time at a national network when she began broadcasting at ESPN in 1981.
"While the award is for outstanding contributions to golf, I'm very aware that, more importantly, the game has made such an outstanding contribution to my life," she said.
They will be honored April 9 at the annual GWAA Awards Dinner in Augusta, Ga.