The Last Stand of Payne Stewart
by Kevin Robbins
Forever remembered as one of the most dramatic storylines in the history of golf, Payne Stewart’s phenomenal career was bookended by a brass and colorful start and an inspired comeback with a shocking, tragic end.
Written off as a pompous showman past the prime of his career, Stewart emerged from a long slump in the unforgettable season of 1999 to capture the U.S. Open and play on the victorious U.S. Ryder Cup team. He appeared to be a new man that summer: wiser, deeper, and on the verge of a new level of greatness. Then his journey to redemption ended in October, when his chartered Learjet flew aimlessly for more than a thousand miles, ran out of fuel, and fell to earth in a prairie in South Dakota.
His death marked the end of an era, one made up of “shotmakers” who played the game with artistry, guile, finesse, and heart. Behind them were Tiger Woods, David Duval, Phil Mickelson, and other young players whose power and strength changed the PGA Tour forever. With exclusive access to Stewart’s friends, family, and onetime colleagues, Kevin Robbins provides a long-overdue portrait of one of golf’s greats in one of golf’s greatest seasons