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Stricker receives Payne Stewart Award

American golfer Steve Stricker was honoured for his good sportsmanship and respect of the game on Tuesday with the announcement that he is the winner of the 2012 Payne Stewart Award.

The annual honour is given to the player who best epitomises the sense of fairness and commitment to golf's sporting traditions, and in Stricker, a 12-times winner on the PGA Tour and known for his professionalism and likeability on the course, the award found a popular and emotional recipient.

"For years, Steve Stricker has epitomised everything that the Payne Stewart Award represents," Tour commissioner Tim Finchem told reporters on Tuesday from the East Lake Golf Club, which is due to host the culmination of the FedEx Playoff tournament later this week.

"From his professionalism on the golf course to his compassion for others off of it, it is hard to think of a more fitting recipient."

The 45-year-old Stricker was clearly overwhelmed by the award and struggled to hold back the tears in a speech to media at East Lake.

"It's very humbling and an honour that I never thought would be possible," Stricker said. "I'm very fortunate, very blessed to be a part of this.

"Golf obviously means a lot to me. I've tried to conduct myself over the years ... to set an example, lead down the proper road, lead by example, and Payne did that.

"The guys that have won this award prior to me have done that. Those guys stand for what Payne was and what kind of person and what kind of player he was."

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