Masters notes: Ben Crenshaw has emotional finish – Los Angeles Times
The hugs beside the 18th green were emotional, Ben Crenshaw first embracing his longtime Masters caddie, Carl Jackson, then sharing the moment with his wife and daughters. The standing ovation from the gallery was heartfelt.
And soon after, Crenshaw, 63, found himself in the Augusta National press center, asked to recap his memorable afternoon.
“I feel like I’ve won the tournament,” he said.
He hadn’t of course. Over two rounds, Crenshaw’s 32-over score of 176 was worst in the field by a country mile. But Friday’s celebration commemorated his final competitive round here, a farewell sendoff after 44 Masters.
“It was way past time for me,” he said.
Crenshaw won the green jacket twice — in 1984 and 1995 — and had nine other top-10 finishes. Before his Friday round of 85, wife Julie reminded him to have fun, to walk each fairway with fond memories of the players he had played with, the moments he had experienced and the history he helped write.
A longtime admirer of Augusta National’s lore, Crenshaw offered a thankful farewell.
“I’ve said many times, it’s a very emotional place to play,” he said. “And it is because there’s so much room to think about [the history].”
Dustin Johnson‘s record-breaking round began with a wart: He hit his approach shot thin and over the first green, leading to a double bogey.
“I was thinking it’s better to double the first hole than the last hole,” Johnson said.
He responded with a bit of Masters history, becoming the first to make three eagles in one round. Johnson curled in an 18-foot putt on No. 2, hit a three-iron to eight feet on No. 8 and almost made a two on the 15th with a 205-yard five-iron over the pond to tap-in range.
Johnson’s five-under 67 pushed him into a three-way tie for third at seven under.
The Masters awards a pair of crystal goblets for each eagle made.
“I’ll put ’em in my office,” Johnson said.
The top of the leaderboard has a notable cast that includes three-time Masters winner Phil Mickelson (sixth at six under), 2013 winner Adam Scott (tied for 12th at three under) and 58-year-old Mark O’Meara (also three under).
O’Meara’s 68 was his first sub-70 round at the Masters since 2001 and allowed the 1998 winner to make the cut for the first time in a decade.
Tiger Woods‘ 69 squeezed him into the top 20 at two under, clumped in a group that includes defending champion Bubba Watson and Rory McIlroy. McIlroy, trying to win his third consecutive major and complete a career Grand Slam, hovered on the cut line after a front-nine 40 before rallying for a 71.
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