Monday, November 22, 1999
Love ready to
carry on for Stewart
Thoughts will be on a fallen partnerBy Bill Kwon
when the PGA Grand Slam starts tomorrow
Davis Love III feels he's more than just an alternate for Payne Stewart in the PGA Grand Slam of Golf starting tomorrow at the Poipu Bay Resort on Kauai.
"I'm not trying to replace him. His spot will never be taken," said Love, who was convinced by the PGA of America to replace Stewart, the U.S. Open champion who died in a plane crash last month.
"None of the four of us can replace him," said Love, speaking for the other three winners of golf's major championships this year - Tiger Woods, who won the PGA Championship, British Open winner Paul Lawrie and Masters champion Jose Maria Olazabal.
"Hopefully, while we're here, we can focus on him and carry on his mission for his love of the game of golf," Love said.
Love admitted that perhaps it is a little more meaningful for him "because of my situation, losing my dad in a plane crash."
Besides, added Love, "This is a place my family and I wanted to come."
It will be Love's second appearance in the PGA Grand Slam. He played in 1997 after winning the PGA Championship, his first major.
Love, who earned the No. 1 alternate spot based on his performances in the four major championships in 1999, will play Olazabal, while Woods will meet Lawrie in tomorrow's first-round match-play competition.
The winners will play for the $400,000 top prize on Wednesday, while the losers will meet for third place.
Woods is favored to make it two in a row. He defeated Vijay Singh, 2 up, last year when the Grand Slam switched to a match-play format for the first time since its inception in 1979.
Woods arrives tomorrow from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he and Mark O'Meara won the World Cup team championship. Woods also won the individual title by nine strokes with a record 21-under par 263.
"All I can do is try to play well against him," said Scotland's Lawrie, who plans to play on the PGA Tour next year.
The PGA of America will make a $150,000 contribution to Stewart's estate in his memory.
"We will never forget his contributions to the game," said Will Mann, PGA of America president.
The first match tomorrow will begin at 10:30 a.m. The two-day event will be televised on TNT, starting at 7 p.m.