Fans saddened by death of ‘gentleman’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 26, 1999

A gentleman. That’s how golfers from around the Miss-Lou remember golfer Payne Stewart, who died Monday in a bizarre airplane crash.

Duncan Park Golf Pro Marvin Gray followed Stewart at the PGAChampionship in Shoal Creek, Ala., in 1983.

&uot;I watched him for nine holes and he hit some shots that were truly impressive,&uot; Gray said. &uot;He had a fluid swing and his ability to hit the ball was tremendous.&uot;

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Gray said it’s a sad day for golf.

&uot;He’s done so much for golf,&uot; he said. &uot;He was a great champion, not only in golf, but in his personal life. He was a real gentleman.&uot;

Carl Flowers of Natchez agreed with Gray.

&uot;I watched him on TV and he was a class person,&uot;&160;Flowers said. &uot;When he won the U.S. Open this year, he was elated, and started crying which really touched me. He was a class individual.&uot;

Art Dawson of Natchez was upset upon hearing the news, as well.

&uot;He was such a fine gentleman,&uot; Dawson said. &uot;He was one of the nicest guys on the tour.&uot;

Dwight Barnes of Natchez said you never know when you’re time will come.

&uot;We are going to miss him,&uot; he said.

Richard Stephens Jr., who grew up in Vidalia, La., and now lives in Florence, said he was very shocked by the news.

&uot;He had the world by the tail,&uot; Stephens said. &uot;He was in the prime of his game and now it’s cut short. Golf has really lost a fine gentleman. He was very unique.&uot;