A day ago, many of those connected to Pinehurst remembered Payne Stewart, winner of the 99th U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2, on the 13th anniversary of his tragic death. It was a beautiful Carolina Autumn day, with temperatures rising near 80 as the bright blue sky above housed a generous sun and a light breeze. Tables on the Resort Club’s veranda were full at lunchtime.
The next morning, though, a billowing fog draped Pinehurst’s hallowed grounds, as if to doff the cap again to Stewart in memoriam. It was only three days after Stewart’s passing on Oct. 28, 1999, that the PGA Tour and several Tour players gathered before the 1999 Tour Championship at Champions Golf Course in Houston as a heavy fog surrounded them and bagpiper Steve Agan for a memorial service to honor Stewart’s life.
Today, to see the fog lightly brush the pinetops and sprinkle the rolling sandhills with dew could only tug on Stewart’s memory in Pinehurst a little harder.
Yes, we miss you, Payne. We always will.