Thursday, October 25, 2012

Payne Stewart, 13 years later

   It was 13 years ago today, Oct. 25, 1999, that Payne Stewart died.
   It's still a sad thought.
   That June we saw Stewart win the U.S. Open in the misty gloom at Pinehurst, punching his fist into the air after making his par putt on the 18th green then framing Phil Mickelson's face in his hands and telling him how great it was Mickelson was about to become a father for the first time.
  That September, we saw Stewart spraying champagne on balcony of the clubhouse at The Country Club after the American team's dramatic rally to win the Ryder Cup. His teammates tell stories of him playing the piano and partying in his red, white and blue pajamas deep into that evening.
   And then Stewart was gone.
   Too soon.
   He would have been a Ryder Cup captain one year, perhaps this year, and maybe the European rally wouldn't have happened like it did at Medinah. If it had, Stewart would have still reveled in what the Ryder Cup represented.
   They built a statue honoring Stewart and it sits behind the 18th green at Pinehurst No. 2, reminding us of the man and the moment.
   Neither will soon be forgotten.


Anonymous said...

Great man and golfer.....can't believe is's been 13 hardy Payne!!

Anonymous said...

Haven't been able to watch a PGA tournament since then without thinking about Payne Stewart. He is missed terribly.