PINEHURST, N.C. — This year marks 25 years since Payne Stewart’s iconic U.S. Open victory at Pinehurst No. 2. Both players and fans have felt his presence throughout the week—third-round leader Bryson DeChambeau has carried a Tam O’Shanter style hat reminiscent of the one Stewart wore—and during the final round on Sunday, the USGA will incorporate a few details to remember Stewart and honor his incredible legacy.

“We’re really proud to be here in 2024 and celebrate the 25th anniversary of Payne Stewart’s iconic victory here. What a memory that was,” John Bodenhamer, USGA Chief Champions Officer, said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Among the tributes will be a special flag featuring Stewart’s silhouette used on the flagsticks around the course. A special mesh fencing will also be used around the amphitheater on the 18th hole.

And the hole location on 18 will be in the same spot it was on Sunday in 1999, when Stewart holed his legendary putt to secure the championship. It was his second U.S. Open victory and his third major title, and sadly his last win before his tragic death that October in a plane accident.

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Throughout the week the USGA has incorporated a few details for fans and players to celebrate Stewart and keep his memory alive. The famed Stewart statute that ordinary sits in the back of the 18th hole has been move the fan central location where thousands of spectators enter and exit each day, allowing them to take pictures.

There are also touches that most fans haven’t had a chance to see, according to Bodenhamer.

“In the players’ locker room, we’ve taken some memorabilia that the family has given us,” Bodenhamer said. “In our champions’ locker room, our past U.S. Open champions, is a glass locker with some of Payne’s memorabilia for the players as they walk through the locker room this week to remember Payne.”

There’s also a USGA experience on site that features items from Stewart’s career that were provided by his family, who have been at Pinehurst throughout the week.

“I want to thank the Stewart family publicly for all the apparel and apparatus they were able to put in our USGA experience,” Bodenhamer said, “If you haven’t seen it, Payne’s jacket that he cut the sleeves off on the driving range, golf ball, hat, many things he used are actually on display this week.”

The 2024 U.S. Open also marks the 1,000 championships in USGA history, an incredible milestone and one that is made even more memorable with Stewart’s legacy lining the hallowed halls of Pinehurst No. 2.

“A thousand championships. That doesn’t happen very often,” Bodenhamer said. “But it will be special partly because Payne Stewart, I believe, is smiling from above looking down on this week with great pride.”


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