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He's Ben There, Done It

Crenshaw Credits '95 Masters Victory to Penick's Memory

April 09, 1996|THOMAS BONK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Crenshaw just couldn't get Penick off his mind.

"I still miss him," Crenshaw said. "Every one one of his pupils miss him. He just wanted to help others and their enjoyment of golf and he was one of the best at it that ever lived. We were so fortunate to have him that long.

"After his passing, I tried to think of everything he ever told me and it was not complex. I play my best golf when the thought process is simple. The very few things that he always repeated were to trust yourself, to play like Ben . . . just play your game, play hard and accept the outcome. I don't know why I kept thinking of those things. He was very much on my mind."

The role of teacher in Crenshaw's golf life now is being filled by committee. Crenshaw gets advice from Jackie Burke Jr.; from Butch Harmon; from Crenshaw's roommate at the University of Texas, Brent Buckman, and from his golf coach at Texas, George Hannon.

If there is strength in numbers, Crenshaw is in a good position again. However, he knows it will be extremely difficult to equal last year's accomplishment at Augusta National. Maybe he will rewind that Masters tape again and take one last look. Maybe he'll discover how to come up with another 13-foot birdie putt on the 71st hole. Then again, maybe the answer is somewhere else.

"I've seen so many strange things happen at Augusta National that are up to fate," Crenshaw said. "I believe in it, I really do. I don't know what it is . . . something that gets to be sort of unexplainable at times.

"I have daydreamed so much it has been unbelievable, just for the happy memories of playing some of my best golf that week last year and then the events surrounding it. I have daydreamed a lot since then. And I'll continue to do so for the rest of my life."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Ben Crenshaw at the Masters

*--*

Year Fin. Winner 1972 19t Jack Nicklaus 1973 24t Tommy Aaron 1974 22t Gary Player 1975 30t Jack Nicklaus 1976 2 Ray Floyd 1977 8t Tom Watson 1978 37t Gary Player 1979 DNP Fuzzy Zoeller 1980 6t Seve Ballesteros 1981 8t Tom Watson 1982 24t Craig Stadler 1983 2t Seve Ballesteros 1984 1 Ben Crenshaw 1985 57t Bernhard Langer 1986 16t Jack Nicklaus 1987 4t Larry Mize 1988 4t Sandy Lyle 1989 3t Nick Faldo 1990 14t Nick Faldo 1991 3t Ian Woosnam 1992 46 Fred Couples 1993 MC Bernhard Langer 1994 18t Jose Maria Olazabal 1995 1 Ben Crenshaw

*--*

DNP--did not play

MC--missed cut

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