Suddenly 1995 sets up as a Payne Stewart kind of year. He is now 11th in the Ryder Cup standings, just one place away from automatically qualifying for the team, and he has played well in the past at two of the remaining major-championship venues. At Shinnecock Hills, site of next month's U.S. Open, Stewart held the lead in 1986 after 66 holes, though he eventually dropped into a tie for sixth place. And at St. Andrews, where this year's British Open will take place, he finished second to Nick Faldo in 1990.
"This is going to make it easier for me to win another golf tournament this year, and maybe more," Stewart said after last week's win. "I'm starting to play good, and I'm loving the game again. I'm loving working at it."
It sounds like, once again, Houston might be the start of something big.