2020 News Releases


GCSAA announces Watson Fellowship Grant winners

by Jan 21, 2020 | Angela Hartmann

Lawrence, Kan. (Jan. 21, 2020) – Paige Boyle, Clint Mattox and Timothy Lulis are being recognized as Watson Fellows with a $5,000 award from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA). The Watson Fellowship is funded by The Toro Company and is awarded by the GCSAA's philanthropic organization, the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG).

The fellowship, started in 1998, is named after the late James R. Watson, Ph.D., a pioneer and visionary in turfgrass research and a vice president at The Toro Company. The fellowship recognizes students in postgraduate degree programs who have been identified as promising scientists who will go on to be future leaders, teachers and researchers in turfgrass management.

“Turfgrass research is a vital part of the golf course industry and helps provide our member superintendents with the information they need to manage healthy turf,” GCSAA CEO Rhett Evans said. “Thanks to our friends at Toro, we are proud to assist Paige, Clint and Timothy with their important studies.”

Boyle is a doctoral candidate at Utah State University whose research is focused on clover inclusion in seed mixtures to reduce nitrogen and herbicide applications. Mattox is a doctoral candidate at Oregon State University and is working to identify products and practices to suppress Microdochium patch. Lulis is pursuing a master’s degree at Pennsylvania State University studying the impact of management strategies on putting greens during tournament preparation.

“Leadership in turfgrass science and research is an important part of what Dr. Watson contributed to the industry,” said Josh Friell, Ph.D, Research Scientist at The Toro Company. “By working to address key industry challenges, Paige, Clint, and Timothy are helping to carry on that legacy.”  

Watson was a visionary and a leading authority on turfgrasses. He was vice president of customer relations and chief agronomist for The Toro Company. 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; the Old Tom Morris Award, a special GCSAA honor, in 1995; and the Donald Rossi Award from the Golf Course Builders Association of America.

Over the course of five decades at The Toro Company, Watson advised customers and conducted research on the 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 articles on turfgrass cultural practices and water conservation.