July 8, 2008

Changes In Attitudes

He died suddenly and too young, at 42, but Payne Stewart lived an evolving life as rich and full as it was edgy and complex

Payne Stewart of the United States celebrates victory after sinking his final putt during the last day of the 1999 US Open

Payne Stewart of the United States celebrates victory after sinking his final putt during the last day of the 1999 US Open

Sport psychologist Dr. Richard Coop says trying to describe his friend, Payne Stewart, is a little like the blind man describing the elephant -- it depends on which part you touched.

Stewart was "Avis," the gifted player with the sweet tempo who couldn't seal the deal. And he was the man who posed for a Golf Digest cover with a chimpanzee on his back after he did, eventually winning a PGA Championship and two U.S. Opens.

He was forever the auctioneer, the emcee, the fellow at the microphone. He knew not from shy. If there was a chili dog to be bought at 5 a.m. after an all-night flight, he was first in line. He played Bruce Springsteen for reveille at Ryder Cups, squeezed toothpaste into his friends' loafers when they beat him and, once, lost a playoff and wouldn't shake the man's hand.

He gave away the entire winner's check at Bay Hill and sold his game to the Spalding company to build a big house, then fulfilled the contract even after he knew it was a bad fit.

He was the man who slowly walked his mother, Bee, so tiny beside him, from the parking lot to the clubhouse before he lost the U.S. Open at Olympic Club. And he is the man who fell forever in love with his wife, Tracey, the second he saw her in a string bikini.

He took Phil Mickelson's face in his hands at Pinehurst, picked up Colin Montgomerie's ball at The Country Club and mugged unashamedly for the television cameras while Mike Reid broke down in the '89 PGA.

He traveled with a trunk full of clothes so distinctive that when he wasn't wearing his uniform of knickers and cap he became virtually anonymous. And he took his recipe for barbecue sauce, with its dash of liquid smoke, to the grave with him. "That's the one thing I've never forgiven him for," laughs Coop.

If ever there was someone who deserves his own adjective it is the late Payne Stewart. He was a "simplicated" man, a human jigsaw puzzle, sometimes maddening, often joyful, increasingly serene. He was not so much a man in full as he was overflowing. A man worth finding.

Springfield and Brother

Springfield, Mo. (population: 151,580), is one of those red-state cities that is bigger than you think. It has spilled out of the old downtown, sending out low, flat shopping malls like crawling ivy. The airport would be the gateway to Branson if Greyhound buses could fly. The Stewarts lived in a one-story ranch-style house on Link Street and never saw a reason to leave. Stewart's father, Bill, was a bed-spring salesman and his mother, Bee, filled the front yard with political placards like dandelions.

"Because of the knickers and the blond hair and the sports cars and the silver-toed shoes and everything," says his teacher Chuck Cook, "he comes off as this real urbane, Great Gatsby type of guy and, really, he was a Missouri mule. Just a country boy from Springfield. He's this country guy whose dad was traveling all the time so he was with his mom and sisters. He had a lot of girl in him. Ironed his own clothes. He loved to cook. He liked to dress up. Then, when he'd be with the boys, he'd be about as macho as anybody. He wasn't afraid to try to outdrink you or outplay you or anything else."

Stewart was featured on a local cooking show making French toast when he was 3 years old. "Payne learned to cook at a very early age, as I did and my sister [Susan] because my mother was a terrible cook and burned everything," says Stewart's sister, Lora Thomas. "The next summer [the show] had all the neighborhood kids on for a 4th of July, hot dog barbecue. So, the host asks Payne to introduce everybody, and he introduces the whole neighborhood. I was the last one and he looks over at me and says, 'And this is my stupid sister, Lora.'"

Jim Morris was Bill Stewart's best friend. Bill called him "Brother" and, even though he's old enough to be Payne's father, Payne did, too. Or pigeon. Morris likes to say after Bill Stewart, a fine Missouri amateur, died in 1985 -- Bee died last month -- he saved $20,000 a year in golf bets. Most Sundays, the Morris and Stewart families sat together in the balcony of the Grace Methodist Church, seats everyone preferred because, Morris says, "his dad sang so loud, and Payne was so dang fidgety."

Brother took me to eat crispy waffles and ham at Aunt Martha's Pancake House in Springfield. He says Willie Nelson used to wash dishes in the original one. Did Payne get into much trouble as a youngster? "Just every day he got up," says Brother.

"Bill was the tough end," he says. "Bee was happy-go-lucky. You understand, Payne could run harder than all of us. That bride of his [Tracey] kept that leg tied to the ground, and his dad kept that leg tied to the ground. I always called him a throwback. You know what a throwback is? A cross between a pointer and a setter. You got one of both. He had one of both with Beezy and Bill."

"If you had to rank him on a 1-to-10 scale," says Dan Pohl of Stewart's fishing acumen, "I'd give him about a four." "Payne was never a world champion fisherman but he loved to fish," says Morris, who grew up guiding fishing trips on the White River and knew all the cuts and limestone bluffs on the James, the Finley and the Niangua, too. "We'd had about six or seven hours. Sun's hot. Payne stands up in the front of the canoe at the end of the day. Had about three martinis. Talks about the beauty of the Ozarks. How much he loved it. If he went to heaven, he wanted to bring the Ozarks with him. Over the side he went. All I saw come up was the top of his pole. Pohlcat and I loaded him in the back of this old jeep we had, take him to town. He was supposed to cook for the family at six. We have to keep him an extra 30 minutes so we can bring him home. Shower him up. Start him over. Get his engines running."

Grand View Municipal, a piece of open prairie renamed Bill and Payne Stewart Municipal, is where Payne started playing golf, though he grew up mostly on the small greens at Hickory Hills CC. Horton Smith and Herman Keiser played at Hickory Hills, too. They don't press there, they "huckle" and there's an awful lot of hucklin' going on. Payne once got himself in a chipping contest against the eccentric hustler and player, Ky Laffoon, a man who favored canary yellow socks and sweaters.

Having been successful in insurance and investments, Morris splits his year between La Quinta, Calif., and Springfield. He and Payne won the Pebble Beach Pro-Am together, and one of their pigeons in Palm Springs was Donald Trump. "It's easy when you got a New York ego that big," says Brother. "First of all, Trump was about five minutes late. Payne and I had already teed off. Trump hollers at us from the tee, and Payne hollered back, 'Trump, this ain't one of them corporate meetings. It's one o'clock and you're either here or you ain't here.'"

The Fan

"He was an awful fan," says John Cook. "Just awful."

"I'd pick him up at the house, and we'd go to the [Orlando] Magic games," says TV announcer and PGA Tour member Mike Hulbert. "He'd be yelling at somebody the minute he got in the arena. The seats were four rows behind the Magic bench. Matt Goukas was the coach. Payne called him Matty."

"Poor old Matty," says Coop. "Payne just lit him up every night. And Matty was dumb enough to acknowledge it sometimes. That just set Payne off more."

"Next year, we were moved to the other side of the arena," says Hulbert. "Not just from behind the bench, mind you, all the way to the other side of the arena."

"I had just moved to Orlando," says John Cook. "Mark [O'Meara] and Payne and I played golf during the day. These guys were getting ready for the Ryder Cup. September of '99. The Mariners were in town to play Tampa Bay. [Junior] Griffey is a member at Isleworth and helicoptering back and forth from his house to Tampa Bay. We end up going over. We've got these beautiful seats, right behind the Seattle dugout, about 20 rows up. Payne will heckle anybody, anywhere, at any time. Griffey is having the worst game of his life. He's struck out three times, looking. He's in the on-deck circle, and Payne is absolutely hammering him. Griffey knows who's doing it. He's kind of half-giggling under his breath. He gets up and he walks. Edgar Martinez is up next. Hit and run. He misses the ball, and Griffey gets caught in a rundown. Back and forth, back and forth. He gets tagged out. So, Payne gets the idea, let's all go out to center field and we walk all the way around and find these seats in the first row. As soon as Griffey gets out there, Payne is going, 'Juuuunnior. Juuuuunior. Does this look familiar?' And starts running back and forth across the bleachers. Griffey, it's like he's lost his mind, he's laughing so hard."

"When we [the University of North Carolina] won the NCAAs in '93 in New Orleans, I got him and his mom two tickets in the VIP Carolina section," says Coop. "The Chancellor was right there with us, all the muckity-mucks. Payne was getting on the referees. So, I kept shushing him. I said, 'Payne, we're with the Chancellor, you can't do that.' He said, 'OK, I'll shut up.' Then, I heard a voice doing the same thing, and I looked around and it was his mom."

The Teeth and The Harmonica

Long before sets of rotten, deformed plastic teeth were available in every novelty store, Stewart had a dentist in Springfield, Dr. Kurt H'Doubler, make him a set. Stewart slipped them in on any occasion and had an endless variety of stories about the misfortune that had befallen him. He particularly enjoyed wearing the teeth when he posed for pictures with older, often female, fans.

"Golly, those teeth," says Ben Crenshaw. "He showed up at the Par 3 Contest at Augusta. Had a beautiful, immaculate outfit on. Beautiful dress shirt. Beautiful tie. Great hat. Knickers. SMU colors. And then he just smiled with those teeth."

John Maginnes, who has been known to share a few of Stewart's tastes, was initiated in the locker room at Riviera CC. Maginnes was a rookie on tour and Los Angeles was only his third or fourth tournament. He didn't know Payne Stewart or that Stewart was a tall 6-foot-1 and a strong 180 pounds. While Maginnes was sitting in a bathroom stall, a pair of neon-green knickers dropped down in the stall next to him. After a few minutes, Maginnes said, "And I thought you didn't stink." There was no reply. Complete silence. Finally, Stewart got up and left. "Oh, man, now I'm afraid to come out, so I sit there for 20 minutes," says Maginnes. When he finally did come out, Stewart grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and threw him up against the bathroom wall. He got right in his face, nose to nose, then grinned at him with his big, old ugly teeth. "Don't you screw with me," he said, spitting out the words like Sylvester the cat.

Stewart traveled with four or five harmonicas in different keys. "And he was not that good a player," says his caddie, Mike Hicks. "He thought he could play, but he wasn't that good." On the Asian Tour, just out of college, he took one out on the golf course with him about half the time.

Two weeks before he died, Stewart played in Fuzzy Zoeller's Wolf Challenge, a charity event in Indiana. "He was out in Vancouver, and I sent my plane out to pick him up," says Zoeller. "We always have this big shindig the night before the tournament. He said don't stop the action until I get there. I had the band Duck Soup there, and he wanted to play his harmonica. He got there at about 12:30 in the morning and jammed with those guys until about 2:30. Then he went out. I had to have him at the golf course at eight o'clock. He was at the White Castle at six. Got an hour's sleep and went out and made nine birdies. He was a good one, Stewie."

In '98 a bunch of the Orlando-based players were helicoptering around Ireland, playing the usual suspects. Stewart and Hicks were in a pub one night, and Stewart started playing the piano and trying to sing. "Eventually," says Hicks, "he gets behind the bar and starts serving drinks. I'm watching all this and after about 20 minutes I look at the bartender and I said, 'You know, you've got to charge these people.' All of a sudden it dawns on him that Payne is giving away all the alcohol in the pub."

"He always wanted to include you," says Chuck Cook. "One of the things that can be said about him: There are probably 20 people in the world who can say, 'He was my best friend.' That's the way Payne would make you feel, as if he was your best friend."

The Needle and the ADD

"Our lockers were always beside one another so I saw him doing his little things to other people," says Curtis Strange. "He was the kind of guy that you wanted to slap him upside the head one minute and the next minute you wanted to hug him for doing something so generous for somebody."

"He would needle you," says Hicks, "and he did not care who it was. Jack Nicklaus. Arnold Palmer. It did not matter. And you know what? A lot of guys didn't like it. Some guys didn't mind it, and if they didn't mind it, they liked Payne. But if they minded it, they didn't like him. If they all say they liked him, they're lying because he was tough, man. He would needle you, and he would go overboard with it. He could take it, too. In fact, he loved it. But he'd get under your skin if you let him."

"We liked to needle each other," says Lee Janzen, who beat Stewart to win both his U.S. Opens. "Once we did it a few times, it was standard operating procedure. We were playing at the Memorial in '99. He was getting ready for the U.S. Open. We both laid up on the fifth hole, I can't remember who we were playing with, we walked up to our lay-up area off to the side, waiting for the guy to go for the green. He took his hat off and ran his fingers through his hair and it was, basically, orange. And I just asked him, 'So, what color were you shooting for?' First he wanted to be upset, then he realized, there's no hiding it. His hair, which was getting pretty thin anyway, is orange. He told me he wanted to lighten it up a little bit and it didn't work so he had to get somebody else to do it and orange was the best they could do."

On a flight back from Japan there were six caddies and six players in first class and Strange and Stewart exchanged more than words. "We drank this plane out of beer, playing blackjack," says Hicks. "Those two got into it. They ended up wrestling on the floor. We had to separate them. It got ugly for a few minutes. No punches were thrown but they ended up on the ground."

"Miscommunication was a big issue," says Coop. "He was teasing, but people didn't catch on he was kidding and his remarks cut them a little bit. Someone in his position, it hurt people more. Some of the people that took his teasing wrong really were people he liked, and they took great offense at it. And he didn't know he was doing it."

"He'd go over the line a lot of times," says Cook. "That was the yin and yang about him."

"He was the second best needler," says Morris. "The old man could needle. Jesus, he could needle."

"Payne and his father-in-law, Norm, and Crenshaw flew over from Kapalua (to the Big Island of Hawaii), and we all went deep- sea fishing one morning," says Lanny Wadkins. "We haven't been out there half an hour and Crenshaw is turning as green as a garden hose. He's not doing well. And Payne is saying, 'Don't worry, Ben, we only got five more hours out here.' Ben is arrrrggghh. Finally, when he's about at his worst, Payne comes up from down below with a chew of tobacco in his mouth, dribbling it down his chin, and he's taking a bite of sandwich at the same time. I thought Ben was going to jump overboard. It damn near made me sick."

"Payne was the inventor of Tour Guide," says Tom Anton, who with his twin brother, Terry, played in Asia with Stewart. Payne nicknamed them Tip Toe I and Tip Toe II because of the exaggerated spring in their step. "Let's say there was a contingent of 25 Americans. We'd go to one of the stores in Hong Kong and the 'tour guide' would go up to the proprietor and say, 'Look, I've got 24 guys with me on a tour. Give me a great price on this camera, and I'll make sure these guys spend a lot of money in your store.' We'd all mingle around and buy a package of film or something. Meanwhile, Payne is getting a steal on his Nikon camera."

Terry Anton sent Stewart to a tailor in the shopping district in Seoul at the recommendation of his older brother, Bill, who was stationed there with the CIA. Thinking he was making the clothes for Bill's brother, the tailor embroidered 'Terry Anton' on all the pants and jackets. To his final day, Stewart thought the Antons had done it to him on purpose as a joke. Shortly after Stewart passed away, Terry got a call from Tracey. "Terry, I've got a bunch of your clothes here," she said. "Now, I'm crying and laughing," says Anton.

"He was a very moody person," says Hicks. "He could bite your head off and then the next day be your best buddy. The last couple of years of his life, Payne wasn't like that. He was pretty much the same every day. A lot of that had to do with his found faith. He just walked a different walk the last couple of years of his life. He still liked to have a good time. He'd still have a drink with you. But he wouldn't take it too far. Years earlier, he might."

"He could be short-tempered," says Coop, who recognized Stewart's attention deficit disorder almost immediately when they began working together in 1988 and sent him to a clinical psychologist for an official diagnosis. "It's one of the things about this ADD thing. I've got to give him tremendous credit. When he found out what he had, he talked to people about it. He didn't hide it. It was not something he was ashamed of. He said, 'OK, how do I get better?'"

"I think one of the things religion does offer people is that peace that passes understanding," says Coop. "It wasn't a logical peace. He fought to find that peace by playing harder or playing better or being more popular but that's just not where it comes from. The religion gave him a sense of what was important. I think he didn't try as hard to be liked, and he was liked more. He was accepted more by not trying so hard to be accepted. All these things kind of went together."

"Everybody looked at him as he changed on the outside but on the inside he was still Payne," says his sister Lora. "I could still get him to take a shot of tequila with me."

Kids and Caddies

"Payne loved kids. He would stop and give an autograph to a kid anywhere. He'd walk past the adults, but he would stop and sign anything for a child," says Coop. "When he won the '91 Open [at Hazeltine National GC], he took Hicksy and Chuck Cook and myself for a week of golf. We stayed in bed and breakfasts and played all the great courses in Scotland. When the word would get out he was coming, the parents would get their kids out of school to watch the Yank Stewart. He took all the time in the world to spend with those kids. There were no cameras, nothing for him to gain."

"Aaron [Stewart's son] would never play golf with Payne because he was too intimidated," says Terry Anton, who founded SNAG, a method of getting kids started in golf with oversized plastic clubs and balls. Stewart set up three holes on a playing field near a school and took Aaron to try it. "They tied the first two holes and on the third hole Aaron says, 'OK, Mr. U.S. Open champ can't beat a 10-year-old boy, what are you going to do here?' His boy starts taunting him. Payne goes, 'Damn, if he didn't beat me.'"

"Payne was a fantastic father, which very few people saw," says Coop. "He'd get up a lot of mornings and cook breakfast for the kids. Have their specialties. Waffles and pancakes. He would go outside and play with them hour after hour. Went to everything they did in school."

"In the early years we were still playing the Pensacola Open down there at Perdido Key," says Loren Roberts. "They were having that national long drive thing on the driving range. Everybody was sitting there watching these guys hit it, and Payne was back there bringing all kinds of beer for the caddies, making sure they were having fun, being taken care of."

"The one thing he didn't like," says Chuck Cook, "was he didn't like people being treated poorly. That's why he didn't like Augusta. He felt like the way the caddies are treated É just how snobby they were, the elitists that they were, he really felt uncomfortable there. When we would go to Augusta, we'd always eat in the employee dining room instead of out front with everybody else."

"My caddie, Donnie Wanstall, was diagnosed with MS," says Mark O'Meara, "so we had this fundraiser, and then we had this big party at my house where we had an auction. We're down in my room, in the garage. Wayne Gretzky had given us a hockey stick. Someone else had given us a wedge. Payne was up there trying to auction off the hockey stick. 'Wayne Gretzky. The Great One. The greatest all-time scorer in the NHL. Leading this, leading that.' He got the bidding up pretty good. He takes this big slap shot. 'He shoots! He scores!' He puts the stick up like this and puts it right through one of my lights and everything comes crashing down. 'That's OK. That'll just add another couple hundred dollars to the value. Gretzky never knocked the lights out!' So, the next item is the wedge. He gets it up to six hundred, eight hundred bucks. Payne is pretending to take a couple of swings. Scott Hoch's out there in the front row and goes, 'Payne, watch out for the light.' And Payne yells, 'Sold! One thousand dollars to Scott Hoch.' And Hoch's like, 'No, I ...' And Payne says, 'Let that be a very valuable lesson. Never, ever get off your hands when you're at an auction like this. If that hand moves one inch, you're the buyer.' We raised about $180,000 that night. And Scotty paid, too."

The Player

Jim Morris beat Payne Stewart for the Hickory Hills club championship when Stewart was in high school. "I loved Payne, just like Payne did me," Morris says. "He wasn't grinding yet, didn't know how to grind. Bill was circling around like an old hawk because he wanted Payne to win the club championship and beat my brains out like he'd been doing. At the end of nine, we went in the pro shop, and I heard him collar Payne, and it wasn't pretty. 'You're out there with your old buddy and you're just jacking around.' Well, I was three or four under par and had him 4 up. When we walked out, another guy went to that tee. Bill went to that tee. His old steely eyes. He shoots three or four under that back nine. I'm holing every putt and I'm thinking, 'My God, Bill's after me, and I haven't got a prayer.' He was bent on shooting nothing and beating my britches. That's when I knew he could be a great player."

"In college he was pretty arrogant and full of himself," says 6-foot-7 Phil Blackmar, who went to the University of Texas. "Most really good players are, particularly at that age. At SMU he was pretty cocky. We had an SWC match-play event and played against each other. It was a really close match -- for the life of me I can't remember which way it turned out -- but I remember getting the sense from him, 'This big goof ...' "

"I had a very hard time getting to enjoy Payne on the golf course," says Peter Jacobsen, who played with him in Jake Trout and the Flounders, a band formed by Jacobsen. "He was a very intense player. He was tough. He didn't think anybody was going to beat him."

"The first day he came to see me," says Coop, "I told him what I'd heard about him very bluntly and very forthrightly. He calls Tracey and she says, 'What did he say?' And Payne said, 'Well, he told me I was arrogant, cocky, brash, insensitive, etc.' She said, 'What did you say?' Payne said, 'Well, I told him he was probably right.' We started off that way."

"It might have been the Tour Championship at Hilton Head," says Chuck Cook. "Somebody beat him in a playoff, and he was so mad he wouldn't even shake his hand -- although Tracey denies that -- I do know that was fact. The opposite side of that was at Olympic Club after he lost to Lee Janzen. He was devastated and felt like the odds had been against him with the ball falling out of the tree for Lee and him landing in the sand-filled divot and the bad pin position on 18, and he was about as gracious a loser as you could possibly have."

Stewart always signed his entry forms for the U.S. Open with his complete name, William Payne Stewart. His father impressed the importance of the national championship on him. "For him, it was a big deal," says Cook. "The other thing was, with the ADD, the U.S. Open is always set up so hard that he was able to focus during that tournament. The rough was so tough and the greens were so fast and hard, it created a lot of focus for him that he didn't have in a run-of-the-mill tournament."

"In a major championship," says Coop, "he'd come off the course and say to me, 'I got that good headache.' He really had to work hard to focus."

"The putt he made on 16 was one of the most amazing putts I've ever seen," says Phil Mickelson's caddie, Jim Mackay, of the '99 Open at Pinehurst No. 2. "When you think about what was on the line and how ridiculously difficult it was -- downhill, breaking two ways and the ball went right in the center of the hole. Then he hits a three-finger 6-iron five or six feet [on 17]. Knocks that in. He played amazingly well, especially at the end. You could tell by how he was in the scoring tent that he was overwhelmed with happiness."

"He didn't strike the ball the best," says Cook. "He wasn't the best putter. He wasn't the straightest driver. Wasn't the longest driver. But when it was tough conditions, U.S. Open time, he was unbelievable."

"His will to win, to bury you, was incredibly high," says O'Meara. "He would welcome any challenge. I don't think he would back away from anything."

"The proudest moment I ever had?" says Hicks. "It would be easy to say the 18th green at Pinehurst. That was a special moment. But showing the type of man he was, what I'll always remember was the Brookline thing. What he did there with Monty. The old Payne Stewart wouldn't have done that. He'd have been thinking about his individual record. He wouldn't have been thinking about the big picture. I was very proud of the way he handled himself that whole day. Those people were ruthless. He had a couple people ejected. He really stuck up for Monty."

The End

"Three nine zero bravo alpha." That was the last human contact from Learjet number N47BA on October 25, 1999. The flight departed Orlando at 9:19 a.m., scheduled for Dallas but destined for Mina, S.D. Six souls perished almost instantaneously when the cabin depressurized shortly after takeoff. Escorted by fighter jets, the plane porpoised through the sky on autopilot, reaching 51,000 feet at one point.

Dan Pohl was pheasant hunting in Mitchell, S.D. Stewart's plane must have just about passed over his head still thousands of feet in the air. His cell phone was ringing with the news at the same time Tracey was dialing Payne's.

The plane finally came to rest where Jon Hoffman grazes his cows.

In all the patchwork quilt that comprises the perfectly square farming fields of South Dakota, leave it to Payne Stewart to come to earth on land owned by a man who built his own driving range off the back porch of his house so he and his buddies could hit balls on summer evenings. He even has his own range picker.

Hoffman has strung some simple wire fencing around the site to keep the cows off. There are some old bundles of flowers and strands of ribbon that have survived a winter or two. While some remains were found, "that's where they are," Hoffman says simply. It's a couple of miles down a dirt road, off behind the hay bales, in a field so open the wind could blow the warts off a witch. There are no signs, which is the way everyone wants it. At the site itself, there's a marker made from a stone unearthed by the plane, polished on one side and engraved. It was paid for by the wives who, when they communicate with Hoffman, sign the letter that way -- "The Wives."

"We talked for 20 minutes the night before he got on that plane," says Coop. "Everything in his life, everything had come into balance. It wasn't a coincidence that we caught up with each other just before he got in that plane. I kind of believe that was meant to be. He was able to say to me, everything's good. I think it helped Tracey to know that. He did a lot of living in 42 years."

Bob Tway fingers the WWJD wristband he got at Stewart's memorial service. It's dark and sweaty now, pretty much unrecognizable. "I still wear this thing," he says. "I don't know, I just can't take it off. I don't know when the time will be. I guess I'll know."

From the clubhouse roof behind Pinehurst's 18th hole, I watched Stewart walk up the hill toward his ball, buried in the Bermuda rough. A chilly mist was blowing sideways and the Village Chapel bells began to chime. The video tape could confirm when, exactly, they started to ring but I prefer to remember it my own way. Championship golf isn't big on omens, but Winged Foot had a rainbow and Pinehurst had those bells. At the end, Stewart was a spiritual man but if the bells chime again this year, it probably won't be an old hymnal. Jimmy Buffett seems a lot more likely.