Lehman to Receive Byron Nelson Prize

All is well between Tom Lehman and Europe, eight years after the “Beast of Brookline” was criticised by Europeans for his behaviour at the 1999 Ryder Cup.

Lehman is the inaugural winner of the Byron Nelson Prize, which he is receiving this week while at the Italian Open in Milan. According to the Western Mail in Wales, the Byron Nelson Prize is to be given every year to the person or organisation in global golf who exemplifies the spirit of giving back to the game.

The concept epitomises the character of golfing legend Byron Nelson himself, who died in September at 94.

Lehman, along with his wife, has raised more than two millions pounds for the University of Minnesota’s Children’s Cancer Research Fund.

He was quoted as saying:

“I’m obviously kind of choked up about it. I’ve been inspired in my life by Byron Nelson. He’s inspired me to want to be a better golfer, but, more importantly, a better person. My first reaction when I was told that this award was coming my way was ‘why me?’ There are so many people in this world who are doing so much and I’m just a kid from Minnesota.”

Lehman was in charge at the 2006 Ryder Cup when the United States were soundly beaten by Ian Woosnam’s European side. Also taking part this week is American veteran Duffy Waldorf and recent European Tour winners, Charl Schwartzel (Spanish Open) and Raphael Jacquelin (Asian Open).

Last year’s winner, Italian Francesco Molinari, is defending his title while India’s Volvo Masters champion Jeev Milkha Singh is also line up to compete.

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