BOSTON, Mass. – Tiger Woods’ comeback from spinal fusion surgery in 2017 that culminated with his victory in the Tour Championship last September has earned him the Ben Hogan Award, given by the Golf Writers Association of America to a player who has overcome a physical handicap or serious injury to remain active in golf.
In addition to Woods, the GWAA has named Johnny Miller winner of the 2018 William D. Richardson Award, given to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to golf, while Geoff Ogilvy is the recipient of the ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award given to a player for his or her working relationship with the media.
Woods, a 10-time winner of the GWAA’s Player of the Year Award and former winner of the GWAA’s Charlie Bartlett Award, underwent fusion surgery in April 2017 after three previous procedures on his back that had significantly limited his playing career.
In 2018, Woods played 18 PGA TOUR events, picking up his 80th career victory at the TOUR Championship. The win ended a winless streak of more than five years. Woods also finished second twice and had seven top-10 finishes in a season in which he was selected to play on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. He started the year ranked 1,199th and finished the season at No. 13.
“I’m grateful to receive an award named after Mr. Hogan and to join a group of truly inspirational individuals,” Woods said.
“I feel very fortunate that I was able to return to a normal life with my kids, and I understand what a privilege it is to play competitive golf again. I would like to thank the fans for their unwavering support and the GWAA for this honor.”
Miller retired in February from NBC Sports where he had been the lead golf analyst since 1990. Controversial at times due to his often blunt opinions, Miller was one of the leading voices in the game for nearly three decades.
As a player, Miller won 25 times on the PGA Tour including two major championships. He became the first player to shoot 63 in a major championship when he did it at the 1973 U.S. Open at Oakmont. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.
“It’s an honor to be chosen as a recipient of the William D. Richardson Award and to have my name alongside such respected figures who have contributed so much to golf,’’ Miller said. “I’m very appreciative of the Golf Writers Association of America for this distinction, and for their support throughout my career as both a player and a broadcaster.”
Ogilvy joined the PGA Tour in 2001 and won eight times, including the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot and three World Golf Championship events.
A student of golf course architecture and a sharp observer of the game and the people who play it, Ogilvy has shared his insights with the media through the years while also writing himself.
“I’m honored to receive this award,’’ Ogilvy said, “and honored to be in the company of the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Crenshaw and Davis Love.’’
All three will be honored April 10 at the ISPS HANDA GWAA 47th Annual Awards Dinner presented by the PGA of America and USGA and held in Augusta, Ga. The GWAA will also honor Player of the Year Brooks Koepka, Female Player of the Year Ariya Jutanugarn and Senior Player of the Year Bernhard Langer.
Former Hogan award winners include Stacy Lewis, Judy Rankin, Gene Sauers, J.B. Holmes, Tom Watson, Sophie Gustafson, Barbara Douglas, Jarrod Lyle, Ken Green, Erik Compton, Denis Watson, Hubert Green, Bruce Edwards, Scott Verplank, Jose-Maria Olazabal, Casey Martin, Paul Azinger, David Meador, Lee Trevino and Ken Venturi.
Past recipients of the Richardson Award, named for The New York Times’ William D. Richardson who was instrumental in the founding of the GWAA in 1946, include Nicklaus, Palmer, Hogan, Crenshaw, Billy Payne, Tim Finchem, Dottie Pepper, Rankin, Doc Giffin, David Fay, Jack Burke, Jr., the Harmon Family, Furman Bisher, Maj. Dan Rooney, Pete Dye, Louise Suggs, Nancy Lopez, Sandy Tatum, Dan Jenkins, Judy Bell, Babe Zaharias, Bobby Jones, Clifford Roberts, President Dwight Eisenhower, Patty Berg, Gene Sarazen, Harvey Penick, Peggy Kirk Bell, Frank Hannigan and Trevino.
Previous ASAP Sports/Jim Murray winners include Palmer, Nicklaus, Lopez, Crenshaw, Love, Stewart Cink, Brad Faxon, Steve Stricker, Padraig Harrington, Juli Inkster, Jim Furyk, Nick Price, Jay Haas, Laura Davies and Ernie Els.