A decade ago today golf lost one of its best competitors and people when the Learjet Payne Stewart was flying on lost cabin pressure and crashed. In a recent article looking back on the legacy of one of the game’s most charismatic and classy folks we were taken by the notion of “what could have been.”
There is no way to know how Stewart’s individual resume would have played out, although his play (two victories and a major championship in 1999) suggested there was still plenty in the tank. What is easier to envision is his team legacy.
Stewart was a key member of the 1999 Ryder Cup team that rallied and roared off the schneid and would have been an easy choice to captain his own team. Stewart was 42 when he died and likely would have been competitive through the 2006 matches in Ireland, which means America could have had the one-two punch of Paul Azinger and Stewart for the 2008 matches in Kentucky and 2010 matches in Wales.
Dueling Capt. Americas – not a bad lineup.