Ben Daniel Crenshaw (born January 11, 1952) is a retired American professional golfer who has won 19 events on the PGA Tour, including two major championships: the Masters Tournament in 1984 and 1995. He is nicknamed Gentle Ben.
Crenshaw in 2008
|Full name||Ben Daniel Crenshaw|
|Born||January 11, 1952|
Austin, Texas, U.S.
|Height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Weight||157 lb (71 kg; 11.2 st)|
|Residence||Austin, Texas, U.S.|
|Spouse||Julie (m. 1985−present)|
Polly (m. 1976−1985)
|Children||Claire Susan, Anna Riley, Katherine Vail|
|College||University of Texas|
|Current tour(s)||Champions Tour|
|Former tour(s)||PGA Tour|
|Number of wins by tour|
|Best results in major championships|
|Masters Tournament||Won: 1984, 1995|
|U.S. Open||T3: 1975|
|The Open Championship||T2: 1978, 1979|
|PGA Championship||2nd: 1979|
|Achievements and awards|
|World Golf Hall of Fame||2002 (member page)|
|Haskins Award||1971, 1972, 1973|
|Bob Jones Award||1991|
|Old Tom Morris Award||1997|
|Payne Stewart Award||2001|
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Born in Austin, Texas, Crenshaw attended and played golf at Austin High School and the University of Texas, where he won three NCAA Championships from 1971 to 1973. He was also a member of the Kappa Alpha Order fraternity. He turned professional in 1973.
In 1973, Crenshaw became the second player in Tour history to win the first event of his career; this accomplishment was achieved earlier by Marty Fleckman (1967) and later repeated by Jim Benepe (1988), Robert Gamez (1990), Garrett Willis (2001), and Russell Henley (2013). Following five runner-up finishes in major championships without a victory, including losing a sudden-death playoff for the 1979 PGA Championship, in 1984 he won The Masters. In the mid-1980s, he suffered from Graves' disease, a disease of the thyroid, but he continued to accumulate victories, finishing with 19 on the PGA Tour, including an emotional second Masters victory in 1995, which came a week after the death of his mentor Harvey Penick.
In 1999, he was selected as captain of the United States Ryder Cup team for the matches at The Country Club, Brookline, Massachusetts. He was criticized from some quarters for his captaincy over the first two days as his team slipped to a 10-6 deficit; however, he was ultimately credited for providing the inspiration behind his side's remarkable turnaround in the Sunday singles, as the U.S. won 8 ½ of the final day's 12 points to regain the Cup.
Crenshaw won several professional events outside the PGA Tour, including individual and team titles in the World Cup of Golf in 1988. He was among the top ten on McCormack's World Golf Rankings from 1976 to 1981 inclusive, and returned to spend 80 weeks in the top-10 of the Official World Golf Ranking from 1987 to 1989. In 1987, he became one of the few players in history to finish in the top ten of all four major championships in the same season without winning any of them.
Despite playing mainly in the United States, Crenshaw had a number of top performances in international events in his career. He won the 1976 Irish Open and then finished runner-up to compatriot Hubert Green the next year. He also finished runner-up at two events on the Australasian Tour, at the 1978 Australian Open and the 1982 Australian PGA Championship. And he famously had two runner-ups at the The Open Championship, losing to Jack Nicklaus at the 1978 event and Seve Ballesteros the following year.
Crenshaw is widely regarded as one of the best putters in golf history. His instructor growing up, Harvey Penick, taught him a smooth, effortless stroke on the greens, which allowed him to master even the speediest of greens–including those at Augusta National Golf Club. In winning the Masters in 1995, "Gentle Ben" did not record a single three-putt during the tournament.
Since 1986, Crenshaw has been a partner with Bill Coore in Coore & Crenshaw, a golf course design firm.
Crenshaw married his second wife Julie in 1985. All three of his daughters were presented to high society as debutantes at the International Debutante Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Politically, Crenshaw is a Republican, and has donated money to multiple Republican candidates.
Amateur wins (13)Edit
- 1968 International Jaycee Junior Golf Tournament
- 1971 NCAA Championship, Eastern Amateur, Southern Amateur
- 1972 NCAA Championship (tie with Tom Kite), Eastern Amateur, Porter Cup, Trans-Mississippi Amateur
- 1973 NCAA Championship, Western Amateur, Sunnehanna Amateur, Southern Amateur, Northeast Amateur
Professional wins (30)Edit
PGA Tour wins (19)Edit
|Major championships (2)|
|Other PGA Tour (17)|
|1||Nov 4, 1973||San Antonio Texas Open||−14 (65-72-66-67=270)||2 strokes||Orville Moody|
|2||Jan 25, 1976||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am||−7 (75-67-70-69=281)||2 strokes||Mike Morley|
|3||Feb 1, 1976||Hawaiian Open||−18 (70-69-65-66=270)||4 strokes||Hale Irwin, Larry Nelson|
|4||Sep 19, 1976||Ohio Kings Island Open||−9 (69-69-67-66=271)||1 stroke||Andy North|
|5||May 15, 1977||Colonial National Invitation||−8 (65-70-68-69=272)||1 stroke||John Schroeder|
|6||Jan 22, 1979||Phoenix Open||−14 (67-61-71=199)||1 stroke||Jay Haas|
|7||Oct 28, 1979||Walt Disney World National Team Championship
(with George Burns)
|−33 (62-66-62-65=255)||3 strokes|| Peter Jacobsen & D. A. Weibring|
Jeff Hewes & Sammy Rachels
Scott Bess & Dan Halldorson
|8||Sep 28, 1980||Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic||−16 (66-67-68-71=272)||4 strokes||Jack Renner|
|9||May 1, 1983||Byron Nelson Golf Classic||−7 (71-69-67-66=273)||1 stroke||Brad Bryant, Hal Sutton|
|10||Apr 15, 1984||Masters Tournament||−11 (67-72-70-68=277)||2 strokes||Tom Watson|
|11||Jul 27, 1986||Buick Open||−18 (69-67-66-68=270)||1 stroke||J. C. Snead, Doug Tewell|
|12||Oct 26, 1986||Vantage Championship||−14 (65-67-64=196)||1 stroke||Payne Stewart|
|13||Mar 22, 1987||USF&G Classic||−20 (66-68-67-67=268)||3 strokes||Curtis Strange|
|14||Mar 6, 1988||Doral-Ryder Open||−14 (70-69-69-66=274)||1 stroke||Chip Beck, Mark McCumber|
|15||May 20, 1990||Southwestern Bell Colonial||−8 (69-65-72-66=272)||3 strokes|| John Mahaffey, Corey Pavin,|
|16||Jul 5, 1992||Centel Western Open||−12 (70-72-65-69=276)||1 stroke||Greg Norman|
|17||Mar 21, 1993||Nestle Invitational||−8 (71-70-69-70=280)||2 strokes|| Davis Love III, Rocco Mediate,|
|18||Apr 3, 1994||Freeport-McMoRan Classic||−15 (69-68-68-68=273)||3 strokes||José María Olazábal|
|19||Apr 9, 1995||Masters Tournament||−14 (70-67-69-68=274)||1 stroke||Davis Love III|
PGA Tour playoff record (0–8)
|1||1978||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am||Tom Watson||Lost to par on second extra hole|
|2||1979||Western Open||Larry Nelson||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|3||1979||PGA Championship||David Graham||Lost to birdie on third extra hole|
|4||1981||Bing Crosby National Pro-Am|| Bobby Clampett, John Cook
Hale Irwin, Barney Thompson
|Cook won with par on third extra hole|
Clampett, Crenshaw, and Thompson eliminated with birdie on first hole
|5||1981||Texas Open||Bill Rogers||Lost to birdie on first extra hole|
|6||1987||Los Angeles Open||Chen Tze-chung||Lost to par on first extra hole|
|7||1989||NEC World Series of Golf||David Frost||Lost to par on second extra hole|
|8||1992||GTE Byron Nelson Classic|| Billy Ray Brown, Raymond Floyd,
|Brown won with birdie on first extra hole|
European Tour wins (1)Edit
|No.||Date||Tournament||Winning score||Margin of
|1||Aug 29, 1976||Carroll's Irish Open||−4 (73-69-69-73=284)||2 strokes|| Brian Barnes, Billy Casper,|
Other wins (9)Edit
- 1975 Texas State Open
- 1979 Texas State Open
- 1980 Texas State Open
- 1981 Mexican Open
- 1985 Shootout at Jeremy Ranch (with Miller Barber)
- 1988 World Cup (team title with Mark McCumber), World Cup Individual Trophy
- 1991 Fred Meyer Challenge (with Paul Azinger)
- 1995 PGA Grand Slam of Golf
Senior wins (1)Edit
|Year||Championship||54 holes||Winning score||Margin||Runner-up|
|1984||Masters Tournament||2 shot deficit||−11 (67-72-70-68=277)||2 strokes||Tom Watson|
|1995||Masters Tournament||Tied for lead||−14 (70-67-69-68=274)||1 stroke||Davis Love III|
|Masters Tournament||T19 LA||T24 LA||T22||T30||2||T8||T37||CUT|
|U.S. Open||T36 LA||T27||CUT||CUT||T3||T8||T49||CUT||T11|
|The Open Championship||T28||T5||T2||T2|
|The Open Championship||3||T8||T15||CUT||T22||T35||T21||T4||T16||T52|
|The Open Championship||T31||T80||CUT||T77||T15||T27||CUT|
|The Open Championship|
|The Open Championship|
LA = Low amateur
CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place.
|The Open Championship||0||2||1||5||6||11||21||18|
- Most consecutive cuts made – 13 (twice)
- Longest streak of top-10s – 6 (1975 U.S. Open – 1977 Masters)
- He played on four Ryder Cup teams (1981, 1983, 1987, 1995) and captained the 1999 team.
- In 1987, he became one of the few players in history to record top-10 finishes in all four major championships in the same season. Ed Dudley, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Doug Sanders, Miller Barber, Jack Nicklaus, Hale Irwin, Tom Watson, Tiger Woods, Sergio García, Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler, Jordan Spieth, and Vijay Singh have also achieved the feat.
- In 1991, Crenshaw was given the Bob Jones Award, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Golf Association in recognition of distinguished sportsmanship in golf.
- His stepmother, Roberta Crenshaw, was an Austin-area philanthropist.
- He is now a noted golf course designer, working in partnership with Bill Coore.
- He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2002.
- He is the 2006 Kappa Alpha Order Sportsman of the Year.
- "If we are to preserve the integrity of golf as left to us by our forefathers, it is up to all of us to carry on the true spirit of the game."
U.S. national team appearancesEdit
- Jenkins, Dan (February 11, 1974). "Gentle Ben Is Very Tough". Sports Illustrated.
- "69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking" (PDF). Official World Golf Ranking. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
- "Old master Ben Crenshaw soaks up the last ovation as folklore reigns". The Guardian. April 11, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
- Reilly, Rick (March 2, 1987). "T.C. Conquers L.A. in O.T." Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
- "Biography: Ben Crenshaw". bencrenshaw.com. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
- Valentine, Uhovski (December 31, 2010). "At Waldorf, a Ball With Belles and Whistles". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
- Search results for ben crenshaw. OpenSecrets. Retrieved on 2018-06-11.
- "1997 Nitro Texas State Open". Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
- Apfelbaum, Jim, ed. (2007). The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations. Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60239-014-0.