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Crenshaw won't return as captain either

Ben Crenshaw, the spiritual heart and soul of the victorious United States Ryder Cup team, said Tuesday that he had neither the desire nor intention to reprise his role as captain of the U.S. squad.

"I unequivocally can say no. I can't do this," Crenshaw said at a news conference in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

The star-studded U.S. Squad, to a man, credited Crenshaw with inspiring them to the historic Sunday comeback that enabled the Americans to take back the coveted trophy.

But the 47-year-old Crenshaw, who wears his emotions on his sleeve, said the captaincy took too much of a toll to endure a repeat performance.

"Look at me, I'm emaciated. It took two years of my life," he said. "It seems like I've been on the telephone for a year."

The culmination of all that time on the phone was Sunday's stirring comeback from four points down for a 14-1/2 to 13-1/2 victory over the defending champions from Europe.

The thrilling triumph, however, was marred by a premature U.S. celebration and by boorish behaviour by some of the U.S. fans in the gallery that left the Europeans seething.

The high point of the competition was also an all-time low as far as the European team was concerned.

When Justin Leonard sank his miraculous 45-foot birdie putt on 17 -- the shot that eventually clinched victory -- Crenshaw, several U.S. players, and others in the American contingent raced out to Leonard on the 17th green in a spontaneous outburst of joyous celebration.

Unfortunately, the outburst was both premature and inappropriate as Europe's Jose Maria Olazabal was still waiting to make his birdie attempt, a shot that could have negated Leonard's and kept the match alive.

When order was restored Olazabal missed his putt, but the damage to the Europe team's sense of decorum had been done.

As he did on Sunday, Crenshaw again apologised for the ill-timed outburst.

"Justin tried as hard as he could to calm things," Crenshaw added. "It was something we could not contain."


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