Originally created 11/15/02

Crenshaw, coach among Hall of Fame inductees



ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. -- Ben Crenshaw has been linked with trusty teacher Harvey Penick for as long as he has played golf. His induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame will be no different.

Penick first wrapped Crenshaw's hands around a golf club. He died a week before Crenshaw won the 1995 Masters, an emotional victory in which Crenshaw said he felt his teacher's hand on his shoulder, guiding him to the best golf of his life.

They will be together in spirit and name Friday night at the World Golf Village, where Crenshaw and Penick are among six inductees to the Hall of Fame.

"It's extremely personal and sentimental to me," Crenshaw said. "We had a great man to learn the game from, a very humble teacher who wanted to help everyone, and it didn't make any difference what kind of player they were."

The other inductees are two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer, U.S. Open champion Tommy Bolt, British Open and U.S. Open champion Tony Jacklin, and LPGA founder Marlene Hagge.

Crenshaw was voted in on the PGA Tour ballot, while Langer and Jacklin made it on the international ballot. Bolt and Hagge were selected through the Veteran's Category. Penick was chosen through the Lifetime Achievement Category.

The inductions will increase membership in the Hall of Fame to 96.

Crenshaw won 18 times on the PGA Tour, including two Masters. He also was captain of the 1999 Ryder Cup team, which staged the greatest comeback in history at Brookline.

The '95 Masters stands out.

Crenshaw, who began working with Penick as a small boy in Austin, Texas, got one final lesson from Penick's hospital room a week before he died.

The teacher asked him to fetch a putter and said, "I want you to take two good practice strokes and then trust yourself and don't let that club get past your hands in the stroke."

Crenshaw took that tip to Augusta National. He had to leave during a practice round to be a pallbearer at Penick's funeral, then returned and went the entire tournament without a three-putt.

The finish was unforgettable. When Crenshaw tapped in his bogey putt for a one-stroke victory, he buckled over as the tears began to flow.

"It was very obvious I had him in the back of my mind all week," Crenshaw said recently. "That I was able to win, on his memory, will give me a smile the rest of my life."

There are other reasons to smile.

Crenshaw's silky putting stroke carried him to three straight NCAA titles at the University of Texas, and he won the Texas Open in his first start as a PGA Tour member.

He won his first Masters in 1984, and his second green jacket was his final victory.

"I believe in fate," Crenshaw said after that '95 Masters victory.

That phrase showed up again as captain of the Ryder Cup. Even though his U.S. team trailed Europe 10-6 after the second day, Crenshaw winked and wagged his finger as he reminded a room of skeptical journalists that it wasn't over.

The Americans went on to win eight of the 12 matches, halving another, for an improbable victory at The Country Club.

Jacklin has much in common with Crenshaw - two major championships, special memories in the Ryder Cup. Along with his '69 British Open at Royal Lytham & St. Annes, the Englishman is the last European to win the U.S. Open, a wire-to-wire victory at Hazeltine in 1970.

Jacklin was captain when Europe ended years of frustration by winning the 1985 Ryder Cup for the first time in 38 years. He also was captain two years later when Europe won at Muirfield Village, its first victory in the United States.

He's also remembered for being a part of one of the most famous examples of sportsmanship in golf: He halved a match with Jack Nicklaus in 1969, when Nicklaus conceded a short par putt that allowed the Ryder Cup to end in a tie.

Bolt, meanwhile, the nickname "Terrible Tommy" for club-throwing that often overshadowed his shotmaking.

Despite his 1958 U.S. Open victory at Southern Hills and 14 other wins, Bolt has long been the poster boy for bad tempers.

"I threw a couple of clubs," Bolt said. "I'm human, like the other guys, but I always threw them at the most opportune time. I always had a camera on me."

Langer won two Masters, the second after curing a bad case of the putting yips. He went 16 straight seasons on the European tour with at least one victory, and two months ago played on his 10th Ryder Cup team.

Hagge was one of the founders of the LPGA Tour in 1950. She won 26 times, including the LPGA Championship in 1956.