HOUSTON (February 24, 2016) — Cristie Kerr’s 20th year of professional golf remains a passionate pursuit – from this week’s Honda LPGA Thailand event to a possible summer berth in the Rio Olympics.
Yet it’s another passion — her commitment to the fight against breast cancer — that earned Kerr praise from the Golf Writers Association of America. The two-time major winner has been named winner of the 2016 Charles Bartlett Award, given to a golfer for unselfish contributions to the betterment of society.
Kerr, 38, founded Birdies for Breast Cancer in 2003, inspired to do something proactive in the aftermath of her mother’s battle with the disease. From such humble beginnings, the foundation in seven years became so successful it partnered with the Jersey City (N.J.) Medical Center to create the Cristie Kerr Women’s Health Center. Breast cancer screening, diagnostic testing, and treatment programs are made available to all women, regardless of their financial abilities, and since it opened in 2010, more than 10,000 procedures have been performed.
“I am both honored and humbled to recognized by the GWAA with the 2016 Bartlett Award and so grateful to the many media members who have helped call attention to our efforts to help fight breast cancer,” Kerr said.
“There is still so much work to be done in breast cancer research and prevention, and I will continue to use my platform as a golfer and wine-maker to raise money and awareness for women battling the disease.”
One of the biggest fund-raisers is a celebrity golf tournament that Kerr hosts at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, an area that has become close to her.
“I want to recognize the staff at the Cristie Kerr Women’s Health Center for their tireless and exceptional work,” Kerr said, “and my partner in Curvature Wines, Suzanne Pride Bryan for her support.”
The award will be presented to Kerr at the 44th ISPS HANDA GWAA Annual Awards Dinner presented by the PGA of America, PGA TOUR and USGA April 6 in Augusta, Ga. The GWAA will also honor 2015 Players of the Year Jordan Spieth, Lydia Ko and Jeff Maggert as well as William D. Richardson Award winner Dottie Pepper, ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award winner Davis Love III and Ben Hogan Award winner J.B. Holmes at the dinner.
Former winners of the Bartlett, named for the former Chicago Tribune writer who served as the first secretary of the GWAA, include Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Val Skinner, Betsy King, Lorena Ochoa, and last year’s winner, Morgan Pressel.