Lets be clear about this. Barring a miracle on the scale of parting the Red Sea, Ben Crenshaw is not going to win the Masters. But his first round 71 is the feel good story of the first day.
Crenshaw, 54, won the Masters eleven years ago in the week following the death of his friend and teacher, the legendary Harvey Penick. His caddy, Carl Jackson, comforted him as he fell to his knees on the final hole, weeping. It was one of the more emotional moments in Masters history.
Five years later, Crenshaw learned that Jackson had been diagnosed with colon cancer. He called Jackson and offered to pay for his treatments. Jackson already had resigned himself to dying because he could not afford the treatments.
“He’s been there for me when I needed him. He’s like a brother,” Jackson said. “We just have a love for one another. I like him and I think he likes me.”
Now, Jackson is on the bag once again for Crenshaw, as he records the most surprising round for an old guy since Jack’s victory twenty years ago. Crenshaw is not supposed to be able to compete on the new, longer Augusta, but his short game and putting may keep him in the game. Consider: he hit only eight of 18 greens in regulation yesterday.
Crenshaw has not broken par in 22 rounds since his last Masters victory.
Jackson is one of two Augusta caddies in the tournament. He is working his 45th Masters—his 30th with Crenshaw.