Three-time major champion Larry Nelson, who
didn't take up golf until he returned from the Vietnam War, will receive the PGA Distinguished Service Award.
Nelson, a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, will be honored
Aug. 10 during the PGA Championship. It's being played at Atlanta
Athletic Club, where 30 years ago Nelson won his first major at the
PGA. He also won the 1987 PGA Championship at PGA National, and the
1983 U.S. Open at Oakmont.
He also played on three Ryder Cup teams, and went 5-0 as a
rookie in 1979 at The Greenbrier.
"It's quite an honor, and I'm very humbled by it," Nelson
said. "I have been very blessed in my career, and have been
fortunate that golf has allowed me to meet many around the world,
develop special friendship and serve others."
What made Nelson such an inspiration was his late start in the
game. He spent two years in Vietnam with the Army, and didn't start
playing golf until he was out of the service. He read Ben Hogan's
book, "The Five Fundamentals of Golf," broke 100 the first time
he played and broke 70 for the first time within nine months.
"Larry Nelson is one of golf's consummate champions, who
performed at the highest level on many of the game's grandest
stages and has carried himself with dignity and grace to become one
of the sport's most respected ambassadors," PGA of America
president Allen Wronowski said.
The PGA Distinguished Service Award, which began in 1988, honors
outstanding individuals who display leadership and humanitarian
qualities, including integrity, sportsmanship and enthusiasm for
the game of golf.