In June, 1999, the Pinehurst Golf Resort in the Sandhills became only the second southern golf course to host golf's most prestigious tournament, the U.S. Open. That 1999 Open was a tournament of excitement and drama. Payne Stewart sank a long putt on the 18th green to win. Weeks later, Stewart died in a plane crash. In 2005, the Open returns to Pinehurst. The six-year return engagement marks the quickest turnaround for American golf in sixty years, attesting to the popularity of the Pinehurst area. Tourists and tournament officials are expected to spend $150 million during championship week.