He was instantly recognizable by his trademark golf attire and had a swing that made other golfers raw with envy. Payne Stewart's career on the PGA Tour was marked by success. During his 17 seasons, he enjoyed the reputation as one of the most respected players on Tour. Often referred to as a true sportsman on the course and a gentleman off it, Stewart amassed 18 victories around the world.
Stewart captured three majors consisting of the 1989 PGA Championship and two U.S. Opens. Perhaps his finest moment in his 21-year professional career came on June 20, 1999 at Pinehurst No. 2, where his 15-foot par putt on the 18th hole was the longest ever to decide the U.S. Open in its 105-year history.
On October 25, 1999, at age 42, Stewart - the buoyant and gracious man with a passion for his family, his faith and for the game he played - died tragically in a plane crash. In honor of his life and legacy, the PGA Tour established the Payne Stewart Award, presented annually to a PGA Tour member who best represents the professionalism and commitment to charity, golf tradition and personal presentation that Stewart exemplified.