Pinehurst Dedicates Stewart Statue


The Pinehurst No. 2 golf course has immortalized the late Payne Stewart, who died in an aircraft mishap after winning the U.S. Open there in 1999, with a life-size statue.
The bronze likeness was unveiled to dedicate the moment of his dramatic par-saving putt at No. 18 in the final round in the duel with Phil Mickelson. The statue shows Stewart clinching his fist, lifting a leg and gesturing wildly as the ball was dropping into the hole.
The pose has so much emotion, said the sculpture, Zenos Frudakis, yet I did not want it to look like a static photographic moment. I tried to actually combine a couple of moments together to get a sense of flow. Thats how people see events ' they dont snapshot it like a photograph.
Mike Hicks, Stewarts longtime caddy, was on the bag that day. Its a great tribute to not only a great champion, but that was a great championship that week, he said. So its a great tribute to Payne and his family, and you couldnt really expect anything less of the people here at Pinehurst.
Quoting from Abraham Lincolns Gettysburg address was Dr. Richard Coop, Stewarts psychologist. The line says it is altogether fitting and proper that we do this, said Coop.
And it IS altogether fitting and proper that you should dedicate a statue here at Pinehurst, particularly behind this green; but not just because of Paynes performance that particular day or that particular week, but Payne had a deep and abiding love for Pinehurst. He really enjoyed this place.
Stewart is the third person to be memorialized near the Pinehurst Walk of Fame. Course designer Donald Ross and developer Richard Tufts, who built Pinehurst, are the other two.
As a tribute to the golfer, a special hole flag and the No. 18 hole location on No. 2 will remain every Sunday until June of 2005, when Pinehurst will again host the Open.