Nick Piastowski

January 8, 2023

Ben Crenshaw in 2019 in the course of the Masters Par-3 Contest.

Getty Photographs

Ben Crenshaw is fearful concerning the state of golf and the Masters, the place, by way of two victories, he might have gained his most fame.

And he has a thought, too, on LIV Golf, the trigger for his concern. On Friday, on an look on Golf Channel’s Golf At this time, the 19-time PGA Tour winner was requested the place he would really like the Saudi-backed sequence to go transferring ahead.  

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“I’d like — I don’t know,” Crenshaw started, in response to the query from co-host Damon Hack. “I want that folks might worth what the sport means to so many individuals. What it’s meant to those guys that performed their entire profession on tour, making an attempt to climb the ladder, making an attempt to get higher, making an attempt to greatest one another in competitors. 

“The concentrate on that hopefully is just not misplaced as a result of that pure competitors, whether or not you’re speaking about 4 majors and the way you stack up towards the remainder of your profession, or the Masters — I want the main focus was on the pure competitors. I don’t know the place it’s going from right here as a result of it’s been on individuals’s thoughts, and we’ll simply see. I simply don’t know the place we’re going.” 

Crenshaw’s feedback come as LIV enters its second 12 months of play, and the PGA Tour begins its season with a number of modifications largely in place to maintain its membership from leaving for the upstart. The Masters has additionally made a latest transfer when it introduced that there could be no change in its qualifying standards — which means Tour and LIV golfers will play Augusta Nationwide collectively in April — and, on Golf At this time, Crenshaw was requested by co-host Eamon Lynch whether or not he thought the primary main of the 12 months might flip right into a circus. 

“I positive hope not, Eamon,” Crenshaw mentioned. “It’s a match through which the champion can change his entire life. It’s a life-giving reminiscence, there’s little doubt about that. However I hope the main focus is on the champion and the match. However I don’t know. I simply actually don’t know. I’ve been fearful about it, I should be sincere.” 

Then there’s the Champions Dinner, and if there’s a query of whether or not the match might get wild, simply think about the environment from the room the place the previous winners — together with six present LIV gamers — collect the Tuesday forward of the occasion. Even world No. 5 Jon Rahm, who has by no means received a inexperienced jacket, was anticipating the meal. 

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“One factor I maintain going again to [laughing], and it’s most likely solely humorous to me, however I believe the Masters Champions Dinner’s going to be a little bit tense in comparison with the way it’s been up to now,” Rahm mentioned this week in his pre-Event of Champions press convention. “So I maintain fascinated about it as a result of I want I could possibly be there and simply have the ability to see how issues work out.”

And Crenshaw?   

“I don’t know what’s going to occur,” he informed Hack. “Our job is to honor the champion, Scottie Scheffler, not just for successful the match, however what an unbelievably fantastic profession and 12 months he had final 12 months; emerged as probably the greatest gamers on the earth. Our job is to honor him; it’s his night time. Every of us have earned a lifetime exemption into that match, however our job is to honor the present champion, Scottie.” 

Crenshaw’s most pointed phrases, although, might have come after a query concerning the state of golf. Right here is that change between him and Lynch on Golf At this time.  

“Ben, you joined the PGA Tour again in 1973, competed on the market for greater than 40 years,” Lynch started. “How do you are feeling once you look across the panorama of golf now once you see clearly this creation of LIV Golf; you see lots of divisiveness on the market on the PGA Tour? What’s your response to all of that?”

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“Eamon, as you think about, you’ll be able to most likely think about how I really feel,” Crenshaw mentioned. “I owe my life to golf. I don’t like what’s occurring, I should be sincere. I don’t prefer to see breakups of relationships which were mixed over an extended time period. I occur to assume that there are issues in golf and in life which can be extra essential than cash. 

“I’ve a lifetime of friendships and recollections that can final me, however I simply don’t prefer it that — you realize, golf to date has stayed above lots of issues which were disruptive to the sport, however I don’t like what’s occurring. I want it had been completely different, and we’re seeing it play out in a recreation that I’ve cherished and lots of people have cherished. I believe the perfect competitors is on the PGA Tour, no query about that. I believe we’ve seen nice management, and Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy, can’t applaud them sufficient. 

“I simply hate that these relationships are torn. I don’t like that in any respect.” 

Editor’s observe: To look at the Golf At this time interview with Crenshaw, please click on right here. 

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Nick Piastowski Editor

Nick Piastowski is a Senior Editor at and Golf Journal. In his function, he’s accountable for modifying, writing and growing tales throughout the golf house. And when he’s not writing about methods to hit the golf ball farther and straighter, the Milwaukee native might be taking part in the sport, hitting the ball left, proper and quick, and consuming a chilly beer to scrub away his rating. You’ll be able to attain out to him about any of those matters — his tales, his recreation or his beers — at [email protected].

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