According to the National League of Junior Cotillions, golf at its highest levels remains a game of good manners.
Rickie Fowler was selected by the NLJC to headline its list of “Ten Best-Mannered People” for 2017, and Matt Kuchar also cracked the top 10.
Voting is compiled through the nominations of Junior Cotillion students and directors from more than one hundred chapters across the country, and fan favorite Fowler received an “overwhelming” number of student nominations, according to NLJC president Charles Winters.
“Both our students and directors felt he has consistently demonstrated well-mannered conduct as an athlete and role model,” Winters said. “We hope his selection serves as a reminder to all athletes that today’s youth notice when they treat others with respect and demonstrate good character.”
In late October, Fowler flew from his Florida home to play golf with an older fan, “Dr. Reyes,” who was dying of pancreatic cancer. When Reyes passed away on Nov. 26, Fowler paid him tribute in an Instagram post, calling their round together “a day I will remember the rest of my life!”
Part of the motivation behind releasing the list is to show that young people do value high character in their public figures.
“In a day and age where ill-mannered behavior is often more newsworthy, we are proud to recognize those whose contributions to society are positive, uplifting, and honorary,” Winters said.
Kuchar’s honor came in part from the way he handled losing to Jordan Spieth at the British Open.
“Anyone can show grace in victory, but we believe it takes true discipline and character to demonstrate grace in defeat,” Winters said.
Three other athletes made this year’s list: Aly Raisman, Deshaun Watson, and David Beckham. Rory McIlroy made last year’s list at No. 7.
You can see the complete list below.
NJCL’S TEN BEST-MANNERED PEOPLE
1. Rickie Fowler – for consistently well-mannered conduct both on and off the golf course.
2. Aly Raisman – for dignity and courage in coming forward as a victim of abuse.
3. Deshaun Watson – for generously donating to aid Hurricane Harvey victims in Houston and for publicly admitting he was wrong after an instance of less-than-mannerly conduct.
4. Joanna Gaines – for kindness to fans, family, and television audience.
5. Sadie Robertson – for authenticity and grace.
6. David Beckham – for positively impacting the lives of children around the world through his work with UNICEF and the 7 Fund.
7. Selena Gomez – for being a strong role model for fans while growing up in the public spotlight.
8. Thomas Rhett – for inspiring fans through his music to value family, relationships, and above all, character.
9. Matt Kuchar – for poise in both victory and defeat as a golfer.
10. Meghan Markle – for considerable grace under pressure as a new member of the royal family.