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Stewart misses on 18 a day later

This time, the putt on 18 was only about 10 feet. But this time, Payne Stewart missed it.

A day later, it hardly mattered.

The newly crowned U.S. Open champion joined Paul Azinger, Fred Couples and Hal Sutton in a charity event Monday at Mill Creek Golf Club. More than 2,000 fans showed up to catch a glimpse of Stewart, who sank a 15-foot putt on the 72nd hole at Pinehurst No. 2 on Sunday to win his third major championship.

"It still feels good," Stewart said. "I expect this to feel good for a long time."

Stewart arrived in Mebane, which is about 70 miles due north of Pinehurst, around midnight Sunday. He celebrated with friends at the house of his caddie, Mike Hicks, until early Monday morning. Hicks helped organize Monday's event, which raised money for the University of North Carolina Children's Hospital.

"Yeah, we drank a little champagne out of the (championship cup)," Stewart said.

He managed to stay awake through 18 holes at the Tar Heel Skins Challenge, signing autographs and joking with his fellow players. Each player was wired with a microphone Monday, so fans were treated to plenty of teasing and comic relief mixed in with the golf shots.

Azinger swung the flagstick above Stewart's head as he was about to putt on the 18th green. After stepping away and re-addressing the ball, Stewart pushed the putt to the right.

"I never had a chance at that," Stewart said.

AP