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Crenshaw prepping for emotional Masters farewell

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AUGUSTA, Ga. – Ben Crenshaw has played every Masters since he was a 20-year-old amateur back in 1972, but his long run will end after his 44th appearance this week.

The two-time winner of the green jacket will relish his final tour of Augusta National in tournament play.

“I love everything about this place,” Crenshaw said. “This is my final appearance, and I’m happy. I’m very grateful.”

Crenshaw, 63, knows playing for the final time will be emotional.

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“I'm going to get through it the best way I can,” he said. “I'll just play and have fun.”

Crenshaw won the Masters in 1984 and was an unlikely victor again in ’95, winning a week after his long-time mentor, coach and friend, Harvey Penick, died. Crenshaw’s Masters memories are filled with thrills and heartache. He finished among the top three six times.

Crenshaw played a practice round Tuesday with Jimmy Walker, Tom Watson and Jim Furyk. Crenshaw joked about the round, confirming it’s the right time for him to stop playing.

“I feel like I played in the gutta percha era,” Crenshaw said.

Carl Jackson will be Crenshaw’s caddie at the Masters for the 39th time.

“We started in 1976, and the way that he treated me, and the way that he communicated to me, and his possession of knowledge, is unbelievable, unparalleled around here,” Crenshaw said. “I knew I had the best.”