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Crenshaw 'melancholy' thinking about final Masters

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Ben Crenshaw began what is sure to be an emotional week with a relaxed practice round on Sunday at Augusta National with his brother, Charlie.

The two-time champion is playing his 44th and final Masters this week and he said the idea of not teeing it up next year is already starting to feel strange to him.

“I’m a little melancholy,” said Crenshaw, who won at Augusta National in 1984 and ’95. “I’ve spent over half my life here and it’s meant so much to all of us. There is no place that treats their champions this way.”

Crenshaw said he hopes to play a practice round with Jordan Spieth this week and he has also been tabbed to stand in for Arnold Palmer, who is recovering from a dislocated shoulder, in a pairing with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player during Wednesday’s Par 3 Contest.

“There’s no replacing Arnold Palmer,” said Crenshaw, who last made the cut at the Masters in 2007. “I was just informed of it, but any time you can get close enough to visit with Gary and Jack is a privilege.”