Who Are We?
A bunch of golfers with a desire to pair our love of the game of golf with helping organizations important to us.
History of the Knicker Open
Why should 100 guys dress up in “Funny Pants” and go play golf?
Mostly, because they want to have a GREAT time!!! No big story here on why we are having a “Knicker Open.” So, I just wanted to explain a few things . . . I was a big “Payne Stewart” fan.
It was Father’s Day, in June of 1999…
the final day of the U.S. Open in Pinehurst, North Carolina. Just before the final round started, NBC ran a piece on the relationship between Payne and his father. Payne watched it for the first time. He later said that is what inspired him that day. After an up and down battle for most of that last day with Mickelson, he took the lead on 17. When he hole out on 18 to win the US Open, that Father’s Day he struck a famous pose. That pose is now a brass statue that stands behind that 18th green at Pinehurst No.2.
In that same year, a few months later, in September, I was in Brookline, Mass with friends to watch Ben Crenshaw, captain of the 1999 US Ryder Cup Team, against Europe at the country club. Well, Payne and his USA teammates found themselves 8 points down going into the Sunday single matches. The chance of them coming back from that deficit was very unlikely.
Payne became the head cheerleader that Saturday night. USA, in an unbelievable comeback, won 8 of 12 matches to beat Europe. The 8th point and clinching point came when Justin Leonard, Payne’s partner, holed out a 40 foot putt on the 17th green. The victory was completed. Everyone went crazy and rushed the green. Colin Montgomerie, Payne’s opponent, still had to putt and he was not happy (Is he ever?). Payne and Monte still had to putt to settle their match. Payne, in a gesture of great sportsmanship, conceded the putt to lose his match to Montie, but USA had won the 1999 Ryder Cup. Payne’s last tournament. . . EVER.
It was about 30 days later on October 25th, 1999, that Payne and some friends were in a Learjet flying to the last event of the year in Dallas, Texas from his home in Orlando, Florida. The jet crashed due to a fatal loss of cabin pressure. It was by far his greatest year in golf. This “Gregarious character of Golf”, had his life cut way too short. There has been no other like him.