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US Captain - Ben Crenshaw

Crenshaw has earned a lot of titles in his career -- multiple NCAA champion, two-time Masters champion,19-time tournament winner, Ryder Cup, World Cup and Dunhill Cup member and, now, Ryder Cup captain. But of them all, Crenshaw is first and foremost a historian of the game of golf.

Others may listen to golf history with passing interest. Crenshaw embraces it. He studies the legendary golfers of old and the historic courses they played on with the same passion some golfers in the younger set study the stock market.

For Crenshaw, tradition is everything, as the men who play for Crenshaw on the 1999 Ryder Cup team quickly learned when the issue of playing for pay was raised. The honor of representing your country in a match of such historic proportions is the ultimate glory to Crenshaw, and he will expect each and everyone one of his players to reflect that in their attitudes and performances on the golf course.

Should the U.S. team not win this year at The Country Club, it will not be because Crenshaw was not prepared. And while "Gentle Ben" is widely regarded as one of the nicest men in the game, his show of anger at those wanting to be compensated for playing on the Ryder Cup team leaves little doubt that Crenshaw is also not a man to be crossed.

His record, of course, speaks for itself. He had played on four Ryder Cup teams, served as captain of the Kirin Cup in 1988, and has earned more than $7 million in his career. Foot surgery in 1997 seriously affected his golf game, and since devoting himself to the task of Ryder Cup captain, Crenshaw has not made a cut all season.

But then Crenshaw doesn't have to play in September at The Country Club, just inspire others to do so to the best of their abilities. Look for Crenshaw to be a captain who seeks out the opinions of his co-captains, listens politely to the ideas of his players, and then calmly makes the decisions he believes will help his team win, regardless of whose feelings get hurt. This, after all, is history in the making.


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