Notebook: Time could be ticking for Crenshaw
by John Bednarowski
April 12, 2014 04:01 AM | 1439 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
After struggling to a two-round total of 24-over 168, former champion Ben Crenshaw admitted that next year could be his final Masters.
<Br>Associated Press photo
After struggling to a two-round total of 24-over 168, former champion Ben Crenshaw admitted that next year could be his final Masters.
Associated Press photo
AUGUSTA — Ben Crenshaw has played in the Masters 43 times.

The 44th time will likely be his last.

“I’m close. It’s very close,” Crenshaw said Friday after shooting rounds of 83-85 to finish last of the 97 competitors in the tournament field.

“I’ve been thinking about it a long time,” he said. “It won’t be long. I’m resigned to it. It’ll probably be soon. I’m thinking about next year, possibly.”

The 62-year-old Crenshaw, a two-time Masters champion who won in 1984 and 1995, didn’t want to leave this year for two reasons.

First, it was because Craig Stadler — who, with son Kevin, became part of the first father-son duo to ever play in the same Masters — had already announced that this would be his final Masters as a competitor.

Second, it was because of his score.

“I know I can play better than this,” Crenshaw said. “But my scores are a train wreck.”

This however may not be the last time fans see the Texan known as Gentle Ben swing a golf club during the tournament. Crenshaw said he was open to being an honorary starter if and when Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player are done.

“Anything I can do to help I’ll do,” Crenshaw said.

NO BIG TWO: Neither Tiger Woods nor Phil Mickelson will be playing the weekend at Augusta.

It’s the first time since 1994 — when neither were in the field — that the winners of a combined seven Masters won’t be in the field on Saturday.

Woods wasn’t in the tournament after undergoing back surgery last week, and Mickelson shot rounds of 76-73 to miss the cut by a stroke.

Mickelson’s missed cut also broke a 16-year streak of him playing the final two rounds in Augusta.

NOT BAD FOR THE OLD GUYS: After so much was made about all the young players and first-time participants at this year’s Masters, three of the top five are north of 40.

John Senden is 42-years old, Thomas Bjorn is 43 and 1992 Masters champion Fred Couples comes in at 54.

Also, with Couples making the cut — his 28th in 29 attempts — he moves into third place on the Masters all-time list. Couples broke a tie with two-time champion Raymond Floyd and now trails only Player (30) and Nicklaus (37).

GEORGIA AND GEORGIA TECH TIED AT 3: Three of the four Bulldogs in the field will be playing the weekend, and the Georgia contingent is paced by tournament leader Bubba Watson.

Watson is 7-under, Russell Henley is tied for 10th at 1-under and Acworth native Chris Kirk is 3-over and tied for 37th.

The Yellow Jackets also had three survive the cut. Matt Kuchar leads the way at even-par, followed by Stewart Cink at 1-over and 1987 Masters champion Larry Mize at 2-over.

For the 55-year-old Mize, it was the first time he has made the cut since 2009.

LOW AM: Oliver Goss was the only amateur to make the cut. He shot rounds of 76-71 and will be paired with Francesco Molinari today.

Goss, a native Australian and current Tennessee player who turns 20 today, will win the Silver Cup, the trophy given to the low amateur in the field, and he will also be part of the green jacket ceremony at the tournament’s conclusion Sunday night.

IN POSITION: Defending champion Adam Scott is 3-under par and only four shots out of the lead with two rounds to play.

Scott is trying to win back-to-back Masters, a feat that has only happened three times with Nicklaus (1965-66), Nick Faldo (1989-90) and Woods (2001-02).
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