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Payne Stewart award goes to Tom Watson

Tom Watson, who has given millions of dollars for research into the disease that has left his caddie and best friend Bruce Edwards unable to speak, was named the recipient of the Payne Stewart Award on Wednesday.

Speaking from the venue of this week's (PGA) Tour Championship, Watson accepted the honour graciously, noting that Stewart once donated a $180,000 top prize to the National Cancer Society.

"That's why the award is given in his name," said Watson, who has won two majors on the Champions Tour this year. "I'm very honoured to have this award."

No one deserved it more than Watson, who won the $1 million Charles Schwab Cup bonus on the Champions Tour this season and donated all of it for research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's Disease.

"It's an insidious disease that takes you inch by inch," Watson said.

"Unfortunately, I watched my good buddy (Edwards) and brother-figure go by the wayside. There's obviously a lot of pain involved with that."

Watson supports Driving 4 Life, a multi-million dollar campaign for ALS. He also established the Bruce Edwards Trust to help defray his friend's medical bills.

The award is given annually to a player sharing Stewart's respect for the traditions of the game and his commitment to uphold golf's heritage of charitable support. Stewart, who died in a plane crash in 1999, won 11 times on the PGA Tour.

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