PGA Championship

Valhalla Golf Club

The Loop

Payne Stewart

October 09, 2009

Jim Moriarty's moving Golf World story on the death of Payne Stewart brought back bittersweet memories for many of you.


Dear Editor, For years I have been telling new acquaintances that I have not played golf since October of 1999. But for reasons I did not understand, I couldn't recall when, where, or any other details of that day; just that it was sometime in October. I didn't know at the time that it would be my last, but it still troubled me that I couldn't recall anything about the final round of a game that is still--and always will be--an important part of my life. Then the October 5, 2009 issue of Golf World arrived. The moment I saw the photo of Payne Stewart on the cover, the memories crashed over me like a winter wave over the seawall on Pebble's 18th fairway. My last round of golf was played on October 29, 1999; the day of Payne Stewart's funeral. As was my habit, I arrived early for a tournament but, instead of warming up, I teed up a ball next to the right tee marker on the first hole. Next to it I placed a photo of Stewart in the finish of what I still believe to be the most graceful swing I've ever seen. My tee time allowed me to go into the clubhouse and watch Paul Azinger's heart-wrenching and humorous eulogy in its entirety. I then returned to the first tee to stretch and settle my emotions. From behind the tee box, I watched as other players gave salutes, crossed themselves, or knelt in a moment of silent prayer at the little memorial. None of us knew Payne Stewart, but we were all touched by his life. I still don't recall the details of the round I played; I no longer care. What I do remember is that it was a beautiful day, I was on a golf course doing what I loved to do, and I spent it with several friends; all of whom are still dear to me. It was one of the best and worst days of my life. I thank you for helping me to remember it. Dustin Stinett San Juan Capistrano, CA


Dear Editor,>

My heart stopped on 10-25-99. Thank you for Jim Moriarty's acticle. I have missed Payne for 10 years. And now, can feel the pain of so many others who miss him too!>


Jon A. Roth >

McKinney, TX


We're with you, Jon. It doesn't seem possible that it's been ten years. And the loss still feels fresh.

--Bob Carney