10 Facts About Payne Stewart 25 Years After His U.S. Open Win At Pinehurst

10 Facts About Payne Stewart 25 Years After His U.S. Open Win At Pinehurst

Chuck Burton | AP

Payne Stewart, an iconic figure in golf, captivated fans with his classic attire and impeccable style.

Renowned for his dramatic wins and unwavering sportsmanship, Stewart’s legacy extends beyond the greens. His tragic death in a 1999 plane crash shocked the world, but his spirit lives on through the prestigious Payne Stewart Award, honoring character and charity.

Discover the life and legacy of a golfer who left an indelible mark on the sport, blending tradition with a larger-than-life personality that endeared him to fans and peers alike.

Signature Style

Martin Cleaver | AP

Payne Stewart was instantly recognizable on the golf course for his classic attire, often donning knickers and a tam-o’-shanter cap. This unique style paid homage to golf’s traditional roots and became his signature look.

Major Wins

Bob Jordan | AP

Stewart’s career was highlighted by three major championship victories: the PGA Championship in 1989 and the U.S. Open in 1991 and 1999. His dramatic win at the 1999 U.S. Open, with a clutch par putt on the final hole, remains unforgettable.

Ryder Cup

Charles Rex Arbogast | AP

A pivotal member of the U.S. Ryder Cup team, Payne Stewart played in five Ryder Cups (1987, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1999), significantly contributing to the team’s successes and demonstrating his prowess in international competition.

Tragic Death

David J Phillip | AP

Payne Stewart tragically died in a plane crash on October 25, 1999. A cabin pressure failure incapacitated everyone on board, and the Learjet ultimately crashed in South Dakota after exhausting its fuel supply.


Charles Bennett | AP

The PGA Tour established the Payne Stewart Award in 2000 to honor his legacy. This prestigious award is given annually to a player who exemplifies Stewart’s values of character, charity, and sportsmanship.

Early Life

Ron Heflin | AP

Born January 30, 1957, in Springfield, Missouri, Payne Stewart was raised in a golfing family. His father, a professional golfer, was his first coach, nurturing Stewart’s early passion for the game.

Amateur Success

Greg Newkirk | AP

Before turning professional, Stewart excelled as an amateur golfer. He played for Southern Methodist University and won the 1979 Southwest Conference Championship, marking the start of a distinguished career.



Stewart was known for his charitable efforts, particularly his work with children’s hospitals. His dedication to philanthropy and generosity earned him widespread respect and admiration beyond the golf course.

Golf Swing

Doug Mills | AP

Admired for his smooth, rhythmic golf swing, Payne Stewart was celebrated for his consistent and precise ball-striking ability. His technique made him one of the most respected players on the tour.


Amy Sanchetta | AP

Known for his vibrant personality and humor, Payne Stewart was a beloved figure among fans and fellow players. His sportsmanship and friendly demeanor left an indelible mark on the golfing community.