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Crenshaw & Jacklin elected to Hall of Fame

Ben Crenshaw and Tony Jacklin were elected Wednesday to the World Golf Hall of Fame, another common thread in careers that produced two major championships and special memories in the Ryder Cup.

Along with Marlene Hagge, who was elected through the LPGA Tour veteran's committee, the membership in golf's shrine increases to 93.

``I can't believe I'm going to join that group,'' Crenshaw said from the World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Fla., where he is playing in the Legends of Golf on the senior tour.

They will be inducted Nov. 15 at the World Golf Village, along with two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer, who was elected last year.

``I haven't had time for this to properly sink in yet, but I can only say I'll accept this with enormous pride,'' Jacklin said.

Crenshaw got 66 percent of the vote on the PGA Tour ballot, which requires 65 percent for election. Nick Price, a three-time major championship winner, received 61 percent.

Jacklin, from England, received 66 percent from the International ballot.

Known for his silky putting stroke, his love of golf history and the nickname ``Gentle Ben,'' Crenshaw won the Masters in 1984 on the strength of a 60-foot birdie putt on the 10th hole.

He won his second green jacket 11 years later in one of the most emotional moments in golf. Earlier in the week, Crenshaw served as a pallbearer for Harvey Penick, the golf coach from Austin, Texas, who taught him to play.

That was the last of Crenshaw's 19 victories on the PGA Tour, but he kept a high profile as Ryder Cup captain in 1999, leading the greatest comeback in the history of the matches.

His team trailed 10-6 after the second day, but Crenshaw defiantly wagged his finger at those who thought the United States had no chance.

``I'm a big believer in fate,'' he said. ``I have a good feeling about this.''

He stacked his best players at the top of the lineup for Sunday's singles matches, and the Americans claimed 8 1/2 of the 12 points available to win the cup.

Jacklin was a Ryder Cup captain four times for Europe, including the end of 38 years of U.S. dominance in 1985, and beat the Americans on their home turf in 1987 for the first time in Ryder Cup history.

As a Ryder Cup player, he was best remembered for his duel with Jack Nicklaus in the 1969 matches. It came down to the last hole, and Nicklaus conceded a short but tricky par putt to Jacklin on the final hole that resulted in a draw.

That was at the height of Jacklin's career, when he was the Open champion on both sides of the Atlantic.

Jacklin won his first major at Royal Lytham and St. Annes, claiming the 1969 British Open with a two-stroke victory over Bob Charles.

His greatest week in golf came the next year at Hazeltine National Golf Club, where Jacklin led wire-to-wire and won the U.S. Open by seven shots. No European has won the U.S. Open since then.

``Hazeltine was unquestionably the best week of golf I've ever had in my life,'' Jacklin said. ``It was as near a perfect week for as I have ever experienced.''

Hagge was one of the founders of the LPGA Tour in 1950. She won 26 times, including the LPGA Championship in 1956.


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