Bill Fields for Masters.com on the scene around 18 as a thunderstorm moved around Clifford Roberts' protective bubble so that Ben Crenshaw could finish his 44th and final round in a Masters.
As he began the round, there were markers of time all around: a nearby live oak that has stood since the 1850s; the gray hair spilling from underneath Crenshaw’s cap; an opening drive that left him 240 yards, an approach too far for a 63-year-old.
“My God, it was way past time for me,” Crenshaw said, fully aware that he has made the Masters cut only three times since winning a Green Jacket in 1995, 11 years after he claimed his first. “I went back to the 11th tee box today and said, ‘I don’t have to go back there again.”
With the Masters.com link, there is also a Jimmy Roberts narrated video piece with some footage and a salute.
My favorite moment from the press conference:
Q. Will you play after this just for fun or is this walk today, is it, it?
BEN CRENSHAW: Oh, this is it. Today is it. You know, I went to the 11th tee box back there, I said, "I don't have to come back here anymore." (Laughter).
But no, I'll play here. I'm sure Julie and I will come here and we'll play, but we'll have fun playing. And it has been fun. It's been so much fun. It's wonderful.
At GolfDigest.com, here is my take on the utterly surreal scene at the 12th, because, why wouldn't there be a surreal scene in at Augusta when seeing a two-time champion play one more time.
Mark Cannizzaro of the New York Post on Ben embracing his longtime caddie and friend, Carl Jackson.
When Jackson and Crenshaw met on the green, they embraced in a long hug with Crenshaw’s face buried in Jackson’s chest and tears streaming down his face. It was a scene reminiscent of his win in 1995, when Crenshaw collapsed into Jackson’s arms he was so overcome with the emotion of the victory.
As the two hugged, the first drops of rain fell from the sky from a storm.
A more mystical moment you would be hard-pressed to find.
“He just said, ‘I love you,’ and I said, ‘I love you’ back,’’ Crenshaw said. “We know how much each of us mean to each other. It was very powerful.’’
David Westin in the Augusta Chronicle:
Crenshaw, 63, slapped hands, gave out a few kisses, doffed his hat numerous times and talked to his good friend country music star Larry Gatlin as he made his way around the course he won on in 1984 and 1995. Some fans shouted, “Thanks, Ben” and others said, “Thanks for the memories.”
G.C. Digital with a roundup of player Tweets acknowledging Ben.
The Augusta Chronicle's slideshow.
David Cannon's image of Ben and Carl thanking the crowd.
J.D. Cuban's awesome shot of the two:
Here's a preview snippet of Monday's Golf Channel documentary on Ben, which they were still filming yesterday. Current, it will be.