GCSAA announces Watson Fellowship Program winners

Matthew Elmore, Lisa A. Beirn and Paul Giordano each have been awarded $5,000 postgraduate grants by the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) as recipients in the Watson Fellowship Program. The Watson Fellowship is funded by a partnership between The Toro Co. and GCSAA's philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG). The fellowship is named after the late James R. Watson, Ph.D., a former vice president for Toro who pioneered turfgrass research.

The winners are all doctoral students who have been identified as promising future teachers and researchers in the field of golf course management. Elmore attends the University of Tennessee; Beirn is enrolled at Rutgers University; and Giordano is at Michigan State University. The students also received all-expense-paid trips to the Golf Industry Show (Feb. 1-6) in Orlando.

"I am extremely honored to be a recipient of the 2014 Watson Fellowship," Beirn said. "It's very humbling to receive an award named after such a pioneer in turfgrass science. This was my first time attending GIS, and it was a great opportunity to learn and network."

In addition, for 2014, a $2,500 scholarship was also awarded in memory of Watson. The winner of this award was Clint Steketee, who is a graduate student at the University of Georgia.

Watson was a leading authority on turfgrasses and served as vice president of customer relations and chief agronomist for Toro. The winner of the USGA Green Section Award in 1976 and the 1977 Agronomic Service Award by the American Society of Agronomy, Watson was named a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America in 1979. He also won the 1991 Harry Gill Memorial Award from the Sports Turf Managers Association; GCSAA's highest honor, the Old Tom Morris Award, in 1995; and this past December, the Donald Rossi Award from the Golf Course Builders Association of America.

Over the course of five decades at Toro, Watson conducted research on adaptability of species and strains of turfgrasses, fertilization practices, snow mold prevention techniques for the winter protection of turfgrasses, and more. He authored more than 400 popular articles on turfgrass cultural practices and water conservation.

About The Toro Company
The Toro Company (NYSE: TTC) is a leading worldwide provider of innovative turf, landscape, rental and construction equipment, and irrigation and outdoor lighting solutions. With sales of more than $2 billion in fiscal 2013, Toro's global presence extends to more than 90 countries through strong relationships built on integrity and trust, constant innovation and a commitment to helping customers enrich the beauty, productivity and sustainability of the land. Since 1914, the company has built a tradition of excellence around a number of strong brands to help customers care for golf courses, sports fields, public green spaces, commercial and residential properties and agricultural fields. More information is available at www.toro.com.

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