Ernie Els wins an award for his “sparkling personality”

Sharon Wong
Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Ernie Els just won an award for golfers that’s not actually about golf. Instead, the Payne Stewart Award is supposed to be all about character, charity and sportsmanship, supposedly keeping in line with the values of the man it was named after. Payne Stewart is an 11 time PGA Champion who died tragically during the 1999 PGA Championship.

Ernie Els is known for being quite the philanthropist off the course. When his son Ben was diagnosed with autism, he and his wife Liezl have raised awareness of the condition and founded their own charity, Els for Autism. He’s also created another foundation, the Ernie Els & Fancourt Foundation, whose aim is to make golfers out of talented, but disadvantaged South African youth. We’re assuming that his penchant for giving back is what contributed to the Payne Stewart committee’s decision. Because let’s just put it this way, he’s otherwise pretty boring. Even lively crowd favorite, Matty du Plessis, can’t make him at least appear interesting.