Monday, June 4, 2007

Payne Stewart

Payne Stewart had just come back into the limelight. When many thought he was past his best he came back to win a golf Major, the U.S. Open in 1999, no mean achievement considering his last major triumph came 8 years back in 1991. Infact after his triumph in the U.S. Open in 1991 he had only won one other event on the PGATour till 1999. His U.S.Open victory in 1999 was nothing short of inspirational as he made a 15 foot putt on the final hole to clinch the title and edge past Phil Mickelson. That putt is believed to be the longest putt holed to win the championship on the final hole. Incidentally, Tiger Woods came third that year. After Stewart's victory Tiger had said "Payne Stewart's story is an inspiration to anyone who appreciates the spirit of a competitor. Early in his career he kept falling short of victory, but he had more inside than his critics could imagine, and with hard work he proved himself to be a true champion."

Unfortunately fate plays it's own games. Just when Stewart was back at the top of his game and playing some of the best golf of his career, his life was tragically cut short by an accident. While he was on his way to another PGATour event, the learjet that he was travelling on crashed in a field killing everyone on board. The plane seemed to be gradually losing cabin pressure. It was concluded that the people on board died of Hypoxia(lack of Oxygen). This freak accident cut short a career that promised many more victories and a lot more thrill for the lovers of this beautiful game.

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