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Davis Love III, who captained the United States team in a losing effort against Europe in last year's Ryder Cup, was awarded the 2013 Bob Jones Award on Saturday at the USGA's annual meeting.
The award is considered the governing body's highest honor.
"Through his actions on and off the course, Davis has inspired a generation of golfers with his passion for the game and respect for its history," USGA president Glen D. Nager said in a statement. "He exhibits the traits of honesty and sportsmanship displayed by the award's namesake."
Love owns 20 career PGA Tour victories, including the 1997 PGA Championship.