Our hearts grew about three sizes Saturday as we read your favorite memories of the late Payne Stewart.
Your posts proved Payne was far more than just a great golfer. He was a devoted father and husband, a thoughtful friend, a quiet mentor and a frequent prankster.
Check out a few of the best Payne stories and feel free to leave your own memories in the comment section below.
“I was just a 12 year old, brand new to golf. I watched Payne’s epic run at the U.S. Open with my grandfather, who had gotten me into the game. I had no idea at the time what I was witnessing. I thought so much of Payne Stewart and his style that I wanted to wear knickers when I played golf. My mother and I looked high and low for some to no avail. Not long after, the plane accident happened. I shed some tears when the news broke. He was my first golfing idol. Remembering the day my gramps and I watched that final round at Pinehurst is a very treasured memory of mine as he passed away a few years ago.”
“As Payne came down the steps to sign his score card, I got to High Five him and say, “Happy Fathers Day, Payne!” His reply, ‘This is the greatest Fathers Day ever!'”
“Growing up with him in Springfield, Missouri and having the pleasure of playing golf with him a lot. I served as an honorary pall bearer at his funeral. I had the honor of playing in the 2013 North South at Pinehurst. I finished 12th, but had a wonderful time and loved seeing all the wonderful treasures around the resort.”
-Stephany Jackson Powell
“While I was working for Arnold Palmer at North Port National Golf Club in Osage Beach, Missouri, we were having a grand opening featuring Payne, Arnold, Tom Watson and Lee Trevino in a televised Michelob Skins Classic. I was fortunate enough to give Payne a ride on a golf cart from 17 green to 18 tee. It was only a couple hundred yards, but we chatted a bit. When we arrived at the tee, he shook my hand and thanked me for the ride. He was a real class act, his death was a hard blow to the great game of golf.”
“I saw and talked to him at the Buick Open many years ago. He was so charming and loved his fans. He talked about his haircut and his golf game, and was easy to approach.
“Watched Payne take a 10 at the par 3 12th hole at Muirfield Village. He always had a smile on his face and laughing with the crowd as the score on the hole increased. Class act.
– Jeffrey Mascolo
“At the Ryder Cup in Brookline during a practice round he walked up behind a little boy, put his arm around his shoulders and walked away about 10 yards. The boy thought it was his dad, so when he saw it was Payne he was so excited. Payne was very gracious. I will never forget that image of him.”
“The story of him filling Paul Azinger’s shoes with bananas after Zinger holed a bunker shot to beat him. Zinger was out doing all of the winner’s duties and Payne paid a clubhouse attendant to open Azinger’s locker. Zinger didn’t have a clue but immediately knew who was responsible. Great player, better man.”