The Unforgettable 1999 U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson & Payne Stewart

June 12, 2014

1999 U.S. Open winner Payne Stewart pulls a
Fathers Day congratulations-reversal on
Phil Mickelson on his pending Fatherhood.


The 2014 U.S. Open began early this morning at Pinehurst #2 refreshing memories of Payne Stewart’s incredible story-filled victory there in 1999 over Phil Mickelson. Throughout that entire tournament, Phil carried a pager with him because his wife, Amy, was very due to go into labor with their first child. No matter where he stood in the final round, he made it clear that he was prepared to leave at any moment and be with his wife if she went into labor. What a Great Husband!!!


[SIDENOTE: This sparked a little conversation in the office – if you were a top PGA Tour Pro, what conditions would keep you from joining your wife? If you were leading a major? If it was your fifth child? Nothing? Chime in – we’d love to hear your opinion!]


The 1999 U.S. Open was one to remember, with Payne beating Phil in the final round by one putt on the 18th hole.  Many people argue that this was the greatest U.S. Open of all time.  Later that year, Payne was killed in a tragic plane accident while on his way to The Tour Championship.  He is remembered as one of the greatest players not only for his play, but for his compassion for others. He is an idol to many golfers, including Rickie Fowler.  Fowler was 10 years old when Stewart locked-up the US Open, and he has looked up to Payne ever since.    


Fowler is currently playing in the 2014 US Open and is dressed in white knickers and blue argyle socks to honor Payne.  Payne was known for wearing these knickers: short loose fitting pants that hit right below the knee. 


Here is another picture from the 1999 US Open, Payne sinking his last putt for the win.


- Amanda


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