Ben Crenshaw remains one of the most popular professional golfers after twenty seven years on tour.
His all-American looks, charisma, and grace under pressure have made him a gallery favorite from his days at the University of Texas, where he was heralded as the next Jack Nicklaus, to the 1984 Masters Tournament, where he ended a decade of frustration to capture his first major championship title. His second victory at Augusta in April of 1995 secured his place in golf history.
As one of the best and most personable players of his generation never to have won a major title, Ben Crenshaw had the entire golfing world behind him at the 1984 Masters as he took a one-stroke lead with a first-round 67 and then dropped two shots behind Tom Kite's nine-under-par 207 over the next thirty-six holes. In spite of the enormous pressure, Crenshaw continued to play smoothly during the fourth round. With a ten-foot putt for a birdie on the ninth hole, he moved into the backside with a three-under-par 33 to take a one-stroke lead over Kite and a two-stroke lead over Larry Nelson.
As the nineties began, Ben Crenshaw continued to add tournament victories to his resume with a win at Colonial, his second victory there, in l990. While Ben's play was at times erratic through the mid-90's, he currently has a streak of four straight years with tour wins which includes victories at the Western Open in l992, the Nestle Bay Hill Invitational in l993, the Freeport McMoRan Classic in l994 and the Masters in l995.
In 1991 Ben received the highest honor the USGA bestows when he received the Bob Jones Award. The award was especially meaningful for Crenshaw since Jones has always been his idol and model in the game.
In recent years Ben Crenshaw has spent considerable time away from the PGA Tour developing his golf course architecture business. Along with partner, Bill Coore, the firm of Coore & Crenshaw has done restoration work on some of the finest courses in the country including Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, Houston Country Club in Houston, Texas and Brook Hollow Country Club in Dallas, Texas. They have added nine new holes at both Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa, Oklahoma and at Onion Creek Country Club in Austin, Texas.
Yet another major chapter began to unfold in Ben's life in October, 1997. The PGA of America named Ben to captain the 1999 U.S. Ryder Cup team in matches to be held at The Country Club in Brookline. Ben had first been exposed to The Country Club in 1968 when he visited Boston to play in the U.S. Junior Championship.
While the Crenshaw career certainly reached pinnacles with his 1995 Masters win and the 1999 Ryder Cup matches, Ben looks forward to the next few years with great anticipation. He continues to work with his design partner Bill Coore on two or three projects annually. In January, 2002 Ben becomes eligible for the senior tour.