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Gary Koch named 2023 Payne Stewart Award honoree


Six-time PGA Tour winner and former NBC Sports analyst Gary Koch has been named the 2023 Payne Stewart Award winner.

The award, which is presented by Southern Company, is given to the player who “exemplifies Stewart’s values of character, charity and sportsmanship” and will be awarded at the Tour Championship in August.

“From a decorated amateur and professional playing career to his legacy as a broadcaster, where his voice and commentary became the soundtrack of so many memorable moments in PGA Tour history, Gary Koch is the epitome of what it means to be a Payne Stewart Award recipient,” Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said in a statement. “Gary continues to show his passion and character through his dedication towards making our game more welcoming and accessible to the next generation in the Tampa area.”

Koch, 70, followed his playing career with a 33-year broadcasting career with ESPN, NBC Sports and Golf Channel, and he also launched the Gary and Donna Koch Family Foundation in 2014 to help fund scholarships and student aid in the Tampa area. He also hosts the annual Gary Koch Invitational Pro-Am to support both The First Tee-Tampa Bay and ART International Training & Research, which supports those who suffer from PTSD and other psychological traumas.

“To be honored with this award and to think that people may think of me in the same vein as Payne Stewart is truly unbelievable,” Koch said in a statement. “When you’re recognized by your peers for something you’ve accomplished and how you treat people, it means a tremendous amount. I would say this is the highlight of my career.”

Koch is the 26th recipient of the Stewart Award, following last year’s winner Billy Andrade and the inaugural class of Byron Nelson, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer in ’00.