Southern Company Presents PGA TOUR’s Payne Stewart Award

Originally published at southerncompany.mediaroom.com. Southern Company ranked No. 19 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.

 

In recognition of his character, sportsmanship and commitment to charitable giving, Billy Andrade, who has enjoyed a 35-year career on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions, has been named the 2022 recipient of the PGA TOUR’s Payne Stewart Award presented by Southern Company. Andrade will be honored on Tuesday, August 23 at the Payne Stewart Award Ceremony in conjunction with the TOUR Championship. The ceremony will be televised live on Golf Channel as part of a “Golf Central” special from 7-8 p.m. ET at the Southern Exchange in downtown Atlanta.

The Payne Stewart Award is presented annually by the PGA TOUR to a professional golfer who best exemplifies Stewart’s steadfast values of character, charity and sportsmanship. Stewart, an 11-time winner on the PGA TOUR and World Golf Hall of Fame member, died tragically 23 years ago during the week of the TOUR Championship in 1999. Southern Company, the “Official Energy Company of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions,” was the TOUR Championship presenting sponsor the year of Stewart’s passing. A year later, the PGA TOUR created the Payne Stewart Award in his honor, and Southern Company has supported the annual presentation since its inception.

Previous recipients have all distinguished themselves through their respect for the game, the TOUR’s tradition of charity and their ability to make a positive impact in the lives of others.

“It’s very special. Payne was unbelievable to me and I got to know him very well. I’m speechless really, to think that now I’m part of this elite group of past recipients who have all done it the right way,” Andrade said. “It’s really nice to see that people have watched and seen that I can inspire others, and I can’t thank Southern Company, the TOUR and Jay Monahan enough to now call myself a Payne Stewart Award recipient.”

Andrade, 58, was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, but has called Atlanta home since 1988 when he first joined the PGA TOUR. As an Atlanta resident, Andrade developed an affinity for the history of East Lake Golf Club, which will soon add his name next to the other Payne Stewart Award recipients on a plaque located in the clubhouse’s Great Hall.

Since joining the PGA TOUR, Andrade used his platform to give back to charitable causes close to his heart, and has continued that commitment over three decades of playing on the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions. He and his wife, Jody, have two children: Cameron and Grace.

“Billy Andrade is an ideal representation of a Payne Stewart Award recipient,” said PGA TOUR Commissioner Jay Monahan. “As someone who exudes kindness and respect, Billy is a stranger to no one, and has spent his career fostering meaningful relationships.

“Those relationships have helped fuel his chartiable endeavors, which have spanned more than three decades. That unwavering commitment to helping others is what draws so many people to Billy, and what would certainly make Payne proud.”

Andrade’s Passion for Giving Back

In addition to a sculpture by Bob Pack presented to the recipient, the Payne Stewart Award is accompanied by an annual Payne Stewart Award Grant made possible by Southern Company. The $500,000 grant supports several initiatives in Stewart’s name and is distributed as follows: $100,000 to Payne and Tracey Stewart’s primary charity, The Stewart Family Foundation; $100,000 in Stewart’s honor to Payne Stewart Memorial, located in Missouri at Kids Across America, which is affiliated with Kanakuk Kamps; and $300,000 to a charity designated by the winner.

Andrade has chosen to direct funds to a number of charities including the East Lake Foundation, Camp Twin Lakes and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Providence. Further, the $300,000 designation will be matched by the Andrade family through the GracieCam Foundation, bringing the total community impact to $600,000.

Andrade has been connected to several Payne Stewart Award recipients throughout his career. He is a recipient of Wake Forest University’s Arnold Palmer Scholarship, named for the 2000 co-recipient; he has teamed with close friend and 2005 recipient Brad Faxon since 1991 to generate support for children’s charities in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island; and each May, he partners with 2017 recipient Stewart Cink to host the East Lake Invitational to raise funds for the East Lake Foundation and its continued neighborhood revitalization efforts in Atlanta.

Shortly after his maiden PGA TOUR victory in 1991, Andrade partnered with Faxon to create the Billy Andrade/Brad Faxon Charities for Children, Inc., with a mission to support children’s charities in southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Since inception, the organization has generated more than $30 million through its various efforts, which include the CVS Health Charity Classic, and in 2022 alone, the organization supported 61 different children’s charities in those communities.

In April of 1999, Andrade and Faxon were both recognized by the Golf Writers Association of America with the Charlie Bartlett Award, which is given annually to a playing professional for unselfish contributions to the betterment of society.

Two months later, Andrade and Faxon held the first CVS Health Charity Classic, an annual pro-am fundraiser to continue raising charitable dollars for local nonprofits following the departure of the PGA TOUR’s annual stop at Pleasant Valley Country Club in Massachusetts. Over the course of its 23 playings, the CVS Health Charity Classic raised more than $25 million for children’s charities and recruited PGA TOUR, PGA TOUR Champions, and LPGA Tour professionals alike.

In 2020 and 2021, the CVS Health Charity Classic transitioned into the CVS Health Foundation Hometown Fund, which provided $2 million in grants annually to support the organizations that are providing access to health care, education and social services to the children and families who need them most.

Each May at East Lake Golf Club, site of the TOUR Championship, Andrade and fellow Atlanta resident Cink host the East Lake Invitational, a charity pro-am that benefits the neighborhood revitalization efforts of the East Lake Foundation. The event attracts several celebrities, athletes and professional golfers alike, who travel from around the country to lend their support.

“For years, Billy’s tireless dedication to causes that benefit the well-being of children has exemplified what we at Southern Company call being ‘bigger than our bottom line,'” said Tom Fanning, Southern Company chairman, president & CEO. “His contributions to AtlantaRhode Island and numerous other communities make our world a better place through providing access to health care, education and social services for the children and families who need it most.”

On the course

Having grown up in Rhode Island, Andrade ventured south to begin his path to the PGA TOUR at Wake Forest University after being named the recipient of the Arnold Palmer Scholarship. During his time at Wake Forest, Andrade became one of the top players in school and ACC history while helping lead the Demon Deacons to an improbable back-nine comeback to win the 1986 NCAA National Championship; he was inducted into the Wake Forest Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.

Officially joining the PGA TOUR in 1988, Andrade collected four victories on TOUR between 1991-2000. Andrade’s first two PGA TOUR titles in 1991 took place in back-to-back weeks at the Kemper Open and Buick Classic. The following week, Payne Stewart won his first of two U.S. Open titles at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

In 2014, he began competing on the PGA TOUR Champions where he collected three victories that all occurred during the 2015 season, including the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship.

Andrade is the 25th recipient of the Payne Stewart Award, joining a distinguished group of respected golfers including Justin Rose, who was recognized in 2021, and the inaugural recipients Byron NelsonJack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer (2000). Other recipients include Zach Johnson (2020), Hale Irwin (2019), Bernhard Langer (2018), Stewart Cink (2017), Jim Furyk (2016), Ernie Els (2015), Sir Nick Faldo (2014), Peter Jacobsen (2013), Steve Stricker (2012), David Toms (2011), Tom Lehman (2010), Kenny Perry (2009), Davis Love III (2008), Hal Sutton (2007), Gary Player (2006), Brad Faxon (2005), Jay Haas (2004), Tom Watson (2003), Nick Price (2002) and Ben Crenshaw (2001).

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