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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.[1]

Ben Crenshaw
Ben Crenshaw 2008 Senior Players Championship.jpg
Crenshaw in 2008
Personal information
Full nameBen Daniel Crenshaw
NicknameGentle Ben
Born (1952-01-11) January 11, 1952 (age 67)
Austin, Texas, U.S.
Height5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight157 lb (71 kg; 11.2 st)
Nationality United States
ResidenceAustin, Texas, U.S.
SpouseJulie (m. 1985−present)
Polly (m. 1976−1985)
ChildrenClaire Susan, Anna Riley, Katherine Vail
Career
CollegeUniversity of Texas
Turned professional1973
Retired2015
Current tour(s)Champions Tour
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Professional wins30
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour19
European Tour1
Other9 (regular)
1 (senior)
Best results in major championships
(wins: 2)
Masters TournamentWon: 1984, 1995
PGA Championship2nd: 1979
U.S. OpenT3: 1975
The Open ChampionshipT2: 1978, 1979
Achievements and awards
World Golf Hall of Fame2002 (member page)
Haskins Award1971, 1972, 1973
Bob Jones Award1991
Old Tom Morris Award1997
Payne Stewart Award2001

Professional careerEdit

 
Ben Crenshaw with wife Polly after winning the 1976 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

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.[2] 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 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.

The 2015 Masters was the 44th and final for Crenshaw.[3]

Crenshaw has the worst playoff record in the history of the PGA Tour at 0–8.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Crenshaw married his second wife Julie in 1985.[5] 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.[6]

Politically, Crenshaw is a Republican, and has donated money to multiple Republican candidates.[7]

Amateur wins (13)Edit

Professional wins (30)Edit

 
Crenshaw at the 2009 Senior Players Championship

PGA Tour wins (19)Edit

Legend
Major championships (2)
Other PGA Tour (17)
No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin
of victory
Runner(s)-up
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,
  Nick Price
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,
  Vijay Singh
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)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
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,
  Bruce Lietzke
Brown won with birdie on first extra hole

European Tour wins (1)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
victory
Runners-up
1 Aug 29, 1976 Carroll's Irish Open −4 (73-69-69-73=284) 2 strokes   Brian Barnes,   Billy Casper,
  Martin Foster

Other wins (9)Edit

Senior wins (1)Edit

Major championshipsEdit

Wins (2)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

Results timelineEdit

Tournament 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979
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
PGA Championship T63 T10 T8 T16 2
Tournament 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
Masters Tournament T6 T8 T24 T2 1 T57 T16 T4 4 T3
U.S. Open T32 T11 T19 CUT CUT CUT T6 T4 T12 CUT
The Open Championship 3 T8 T15 CUT T22 T35 T21 T4 T16 T52
PGA Championship T41 CUT CUT T9 CUT T59 T11 T7 T17 T17
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Masters Tournament T14 T3 46 CUT T18 1 CUT 45 CUT CUT
U.S. Open CUT T33 T71 CUT T65 CUT CUT
The Open Championship T31 T80 CUT T77 T15 T27 CUT
PGA Championship T31 WD T73 T61 T9 T44 T69 CUT CUT CUT
Tournament 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT 47 T55 CUT CUT
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship WD
Tournament 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Masters Tournament CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT
U.S. Open
The Open Championship
PGA Championship
  Win
  Top 10
  Did not play

LA = Low amateur
CUT = missed the halfway cut
WD = withdrew
"T" indicates a tie for a place.

SummaryEdit

Tournament Wins 2nd 3rd Top-5 Top-10 Top-25 Events Cuts made
Masters Tournament 2 2 2 8 11 18 44 25
U.S. Open 0 0 1 2 4 8 26 15
The Open Championship 0 2 1 5 6 11 21 18
PGA Championship 0 1 0 1 6 10 26 18
Totals 2 5 4 16 27 47 117 76
  • Most consecutive cuts made – 13 (twice)
  • Longest streak of top-10s – 6 (1975 U.S. Open – 1977 Masters)

Results in The Players ChampionshipEdit

Tournament 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
The Players Championship T39 T55 T70 CUT T4 CUT 2 T63 CUT T10 T26 T33 T54 T9 T11 T11
Tournament 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001
The Players Championship CUT CUT T29 CUT T19 CUT T73 CUT CUT CUT CUT CUT
  Top 10

CUT = missed the halfway cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place

NotableEdit

U.S. national team appearancesEdit

Amateur

Professional

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Jenkins, Dan (February 11, 1974). "Gentle Ben Is Very Tough". Sports Illustrated.
  2. ^ "69 Players Who Have Reached The Top-10 In World Ranking" (PDF). Official World Golf Ranking. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  3. ^ "Old master Ben Crenshaw soaks up the last ovation as folklore reigns". The Guardian. April 11, 2015. Retrieved April 13, 2015.
  4. ^ Reilly, Rick (March 2, 1987). "T.C. Conquers L.A. in O.T." Sports Illustrated. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  5. ^ "Biography: Ben Crenshaw". bencrenshaw.com. Retrieved August 15, 2018.
  6. ^ Valentine, Uhovski (December 31, 2010). "At Waldorf, a Ball With Belles and Whistles". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 9, 2018.
  7. ^ Search results for ben crenshaw. OpenSecrets. Retrieved on 2018-06-11.
  8. ^ "1997 Nitro Texas State Open". Archived from the original on February 6, 2012. Retrieved December 23, 2013.
  9. ^ Apfelbaum, Jim, ed. (2007). The Gigantic Book of Golf Quotations. Skyhorse Publishing. ISBN 978-1-60239-014-0.

External linksEdit